The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
When I finished reading the excerpt about the life of Frederick Douglass, I learned more about the roughness and hardships of his life and story. Had I not read this excerpt, I wouldn 't know the beginning of his life story and many of the reasons he wanted to become and abolitionist. Sometimes Douglass wished to be animals, so that he could escape the world of thinking.
With this, Douglass is addressing the topic of slavery and whether to abolish it or not. And goes about telling the hardships he went through.
Douglass uses pathos and analogy to show slaveholders that they need to abolish slavery because their lives will always be dominated by fear. Mr. Douglass finds his way to freedom in the north and has to be careful of who he talks to because he never knows when a kidnapper is right around the corner. Douglass compares the “money loving kidnappers” to “ferocious beast” trying to catch the easy prey. Once the slaves fought and achieved their freedom they had to make sure they didn’t run into the “beast” or kidnappers. The way Mr. Douglass describes the slave as a “panting fugitive” makes the reader feel sympathy for the slave because he/she can never catch a break and for the rest of their lives they will always be looking over their shoulders which causes fear in their
Frederick Douglass’s Hope for Freedom Hope and fear, two contradictory emotions that influence us all, convicted Frederick Douglass to choose life over death, light over darkness, and freedom over sin. Douglass, in Chapter ten, pages thirty-seven through thirty-nine, of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, utilizes various rhetorical techniques and tone shifts to convey his desperation to find hope in this time of misery and suffering. Mr. Covey, who Douglass has been sent to by his master to be broken, has succeeded in nearly tearing all of Douglass’s dreams of freedom away from him. To expound on his desires to escape, Douglass presents boats as something that induces joy to most but compels slaves to feel terror. Given the multiple uses of repetition, antithesis, indirect tone shifts, and various other rhetorical techniques, we can see Douglass relaying to his audience the hardships of slavery through ethos, the disheartening times that slavery brings, and his breakthrough of determination to obtain freedom.
Instead of staying with them to overcome obstacles, he learns how to read and write and uses it for his own benefit. According to chapter 10, Douglass says, “I was broken in body, soul, and spirit, my natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died” (Douglass, 45). Douglass believes ignorance played a major role in destroying any shred of hope a slave had left. The idea of slavery was to keep slaves ignorant; therefore, they wouldn’t question their past, their future, or their overall existence. Douglass doesn’t challenge the American beliefs of slavery, but uses their ideals to better enhance his motivation to
It had given me a view of my wretched condition without the remedy.” Douglas felt that learning to read opened his eyes up to freedom and made him realize that he was a “slave for life.” Growing up there were many times I looked in the mirror and didn’t like the person I saw. I many times felt like a mistake, that I was worthless. I relate to Douglass’s sense of finally seeing his own identity and what he didn’t like about it.
Douglass is always curious and he never gives up even when he finds several obstacles in his way, because he perfectly knows what his goal is: he needs an education to get his freedom. He is determined to get it even though it requires a lot of hard work. Douglass is sure of the potential of education. As a matter of fact he knows well that knowlegde can change his life while leading him to freedom. Douglass has both the motivation and the determination because he is aware that owing to education he can get to great places in his life, and that education makes the world a better place
In addition to establishing himself as a credible narrator and using anecdotes with repetitive diction and imagery, Douglass also highlights how religion was enforced in slavery. Every slave owner that Douglass belonged to was hypocritical and deceival towards their faith. This is frequently used through all his anecdotes to persuade the reader that slavery is full of non-sense and that the “devoted, peaceful, just, and kind owners” were full of lies. “He seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the Almighty. He would make a short prayer in the morning, and a long prayer at night; and, strange as it may seem, few men would at times appear more devotional than he…My non-compliance would almost always produce much confusion. To show himself
Education is the light at the end of the tunnel, when Frederick uses it he discovers hope. In the story the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick goes through many struggles on his path to freedom, showing us the road from slavery to freedom. At the beginning of the book, Douglass is a slave in both body and mind. When the book ends, he gets both his legal freedom and frees his mind. The path to freedom was not easy, but it got clearer when he got an education. Education gives hope for Douglass’s life since he began to truly understand what goes on in slavery. As he figured out more about the topic, his self- motivation poured out hope in his life.
Suppressing black votes is not only a thing of the past. In the early 1840’s, Frederick Douglass became a registered voter in Massachusetts. He escaped slavery from Maryland travelling to New York and then to New Bedford. Before becoming a public figure in American history, he was had committed voter fraud, using an assumed name. Being an illegal immigrant and a fugitive slave in Massachusetts, it was necessary for him to be registered under a new name as it is against the law. He owned only two “legal” documents and his address to prove that he is eligible to vote. Douglass said that a fugitive slave had to change names from to time to stay survive and honesty was out of the question. There were only 5 states in the North that allowed “free”