Alexander Vega Mr. Shanebeck AP US History 4 November 2016 The Slave Life In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass relates his encounters as a slave. The subtle elements the abhorrences of experiencing childhood with a plantation, being subjected to extraordinary prejudice, and fleeing to freedom.
Douglass’s Narrative writings show us that the masters ignore their slaves, and keep them ignorant and uneducated. They wanted their slaves to know that the slaves were born as slaves, and there was no way out to get rid of being a slave. The masters of the slaves wanted their slaves to accept and know that slavery was natural. The slaveholders did not want their slaves to write and read because if they knew to write and read, the slavery might have been ended after a while. Another point was to control over the slaves by leaving them ignorant.
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass is a very great perspective for people of today to understand what it was like to be a slave in the 1800’s. It tells the story of the slave Frederick Douglass and how he began as an uneducated slave and was moved around from many different types of owners, cruel or nice, and how his and other slaves presences changed the owners, and also how he educated himself and realized that he shouldn’t be treated so poorly It was at the point later in the book that I realized how some slaves might have felt during slavery in the 1800’s. When Douglass is sent away to Mr.Covey he is treated pretty badly but eventually he stands up to Mr.Covey and demands that he stopped being treated like an animal.
The autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written in 1845 in Massachusetts, narrates the evils of slavery through the point of view of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is a slave who focuses his attention into escaping the horrors of slavery. He articulates his mournful story to anyone and everyone, in hopes of disclosing the crimes that come with slavery. In doing so, Douglass uses many rhetorical strategies to make effective arguments against slavery. Frederick Douglass makes a point to demonstrate the deterioration slavery yields from moral, benevolent people into ruthless, cold-hearted people.
After examining how Douglass endured his slave life under the cruelty of his masters, I can make a connection to claim that people are enslaved by their own subconsciousness as a modern example of slavery. One example can be the sense of avoiding dangers. If someone told a person to walk off a cliff, it is obvious that the person will reject the command. Why is it? It is not the consciousness that reacts; it is the subconsciousness that signals him to stop.
In the narrative Why I Learned to Read and Write, by Frederick Douglass he expressed how difficult life had been being a slave. He felt the need to break away from the norm and learn how to read and write. While educating himself he dealt with many obstacles that prolonged his education. Although he dealt with difficult obstacles he ended up becoming a free slave, because he was well educated. Slaveholder believed education and slavery were incompatible, therefore Douglass was faced with the decision to use various stratagems; in the process he ended up re-enforcing the view of the slaveholders and taught society the importance of education.
Frederick Douglass was an American slave who wrote The Narrative of Frederick Douglass in1845, he demonstrated that literacy and being free was linked. He also shows that literacy was not permitted to African slaves. In addition, Douglass shows how he was introduced to the literacy by his mistress Sophia Auld. But for him to keep learning how to read and write it was going to be a challenge since Sophia’s husband master Hugh Auld rejected the idea that she continues giving him lessons. Master Auld warns his wife “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell.”
“Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities” (Douglass, 252).
Douglass’ autobiography Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was among the first Slave Narratives written by a former slave. Also, it was written differently in a new autobiographical form, glorifying the conflicts, the struggles and the success of an individual in place of recounting a story following a chronological order which is the classic form of an autobiography. Frederick Douglass consolidated different ideologies and philosophies in his work because he was very inspired by Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson who were considered as leaders in philosophy. Douglass’ narrative was used to defend the human rights, criticizing religion but also as a political context.
Dehumanization had been apparent for many centuries through numerous civilizations. Egyptians used slaves to build the pyramids working days at a tie under the blistering sun. In ancient Greece, the upper classes used slaves as entertainment, fighting exotic beasts to the death. These cultures all used slaves and kept them under control by dehumanization. Although terrible, the United States followed in the footsteps of these other powerful civilizations using slaves to propel their own economy.
In conclusion, Fredrick Douglass intended to show the horrors of slavery. He wanted to share his story so that he could change their views on slavery. Douglass writes in a straightforward, blunt manner to convey his point effectively to the reader. He does this so the readers won’t see him as an unintelligent, piece of property instead they’ll see him as a reliable and smart human being.
Overall, Douglass' narrative addresses the serious problems and misconceptions of slavery and it reveals the truths. Douglass urges his readers to not believe in the so-called romanticism of slavery, or that blacks are intellectually inferior, or inferior at all, or that their prospects are better as slaves. He begs that his readers discover the truths, by reading about them through his own life experiences. Within Douglass' experiences, he successfully debunks the mythology of slavery by disproving that there is anything positive about. Because Douglass reached freedom, he knows that it can never be attained unless it is fought for.
The history of slaves was a psychological and physical torture to the mind of a slave and of a master. In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass writes about his personal experience. He was born into slavery and finally succeeds in running away to the North where slavery is illegal. Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development help explain the behavior of people. Several characters in Douglass’ book show one good example of Kohlberg’s six stages.
Frederick Douglass’, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a condensed narrative that retells the story of Douglass’ life as a slave from childhood until his escape as an adult. Douglass’ life consisted of various changes that all contributed to the decisions and predicaments he encountered throughout his life. Although he was a slave, in Baltimore for the majority of his life, his descriptions and telling of how slavery slashes both the slave and the slave master are both thought provoking and quite upsetting. The beatings, humiliation, tearing apart of families, and the sexual brutality are all there, laid out in a direct, straightforward style that is somehow more horrifying with its lack of exaggeration. Much of this narrative