Frederick Douglass 'Incidents In A Life Of A Slave Girl'

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Frederick wastes no time in his narrative to explain how slavery is more of a mental battle than a physical battle. He tells the reader “I was born in Tuckahoe..I have no accurate knowledge of my age.” and “a want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness” illustrating that he was deprived of his self-worth and self-identity at an early age. In chapter 6, Douglass overhears his master say “learning would spoil the best nigger in the world” although harsh, this is my favorite part of the text because this triggers Douglass to begin his transition into a free man. Douglass’s journey to read also mirrored the idea that the difference between a free man and slave is more than bondage, but education as well.

In the narrative Incidents in a life of a Slave girl, Brent not only exposes the hardships of being a slave, but also the struggle of being a woman in bondage. Brent, persistently asks the reader to not pity or judge her by the actions she has made, but grasp the understanding that being enslaved forces a person to better themselves at any cost. She also says “I do it to kindle a flame of compassion in your hearts for my sisters who are still in bondage” which causes
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Willie “hesitated between the two; being perplexed to know which had the strongest claim upon his obedience. He finally concluded to go to his mistress.”. The author included this experience in her text to show how slavery mentally skewed the natural order of family relationships. Children should instinctively have more obedience to their parents versus a relative/outsider, but Willie knew from a young age who had the actual authority over him Willie’s father scolded Willie for his decision, but I am sure Wille father was more upset that he lacked the authority to truly/safely govern his children and in actuality his children belonged to their slave
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