Fredrick Douglass Narrative Analysis

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In the Narrative, Fredrick Douglass uses his own personal experiences as an African-American slave in the South to paint a unique and vivid picture of the effects slavery has on both himself and those around him. The story of how Douglass went from a slave to a free man not only serves as a historically important piece of literature, but also raises questions about how slavery changes a person. While Douglass’s Narrative is autobiographical in nature, he analyzes many aspects of his past in order to make sense of his enslavement and how it formed his beliefs about the world around him. One of the most pivotal moments in Douglass’s work is his physical fight with Mr. Covey. This struggle affects Douglass psychologically and serves as a turning point in his life. In order to understand the gravity of this single encounter between Douglass and Mr. Covey, one must first recognize the events that lead to this point…show more content…
Covey, he does the one thing he has failed to do in his life as a slave; he takes legitimate action to resist his condition. Every other example of Douglass voicing contempt for his circumstances results in very little actual rebellion. Yes, he does disobey the rule that slaves cannot learn to read, however this does not lead to him pursuing freedom, rather simply a realization that he deserves freedom (531). Something happens to Douglass psychologically that inspires him to say that enough is enough. Douglass even acknowledges, “[F]rom whence came the spirit I don’t know−I resolved to fight” (548). Later he says that “it [the fight] rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom” proving that this specific event was the catalyst for him to take action. The mindset Douglass possesses before fighting Mr. Covey is completely different from the one he has after the fight. Before, Douglass is a man who desires freedom but never fully pursues it. After, he is a man who desires freedom and makes it his sole focus to obtain
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