Douglass points to the vast unwillingness from the group of whites that refuses to fully perceive and accept African-Americans as deserving and equal citizens of the nation. Based on his personal experiences as a slave, Douglass is abundantly aware that the battle to abolish slavery is not an easy task. For the first twenty years of his life, he witnessed firsthand the abject cruelty of that institution in our country. Tactfully, Douglass seizes this opportunity to publicly highlight the unmerited and coarse differences in the treatment between the whites as opposed to the blacks living in the United States during this time period. He makes a “powerful testaments to the hypocrisy, bigotry and inhumanity of slavery” (Bunch 1).
Douglass uses his Narrative to share his position is by telling his audience how unfairly Douglass is treated and how white men or slaveholders take control of the life of a slave because in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass on page 1 paragraph 1 it says, The nearest estimate I can give makes me now between twenty-seven and twenty-eight years of age. I come to this, from hearing my master say, some time during 1835, I was about seventeen years old.” What this piece of evidence is demonstrates is that Frederick Douglass did not even now his own birth and that he had to guess on what his master said and that his master knows more what Frederick knows about his life. Another way that Douglass’s uses his Narrative to share his position is by telling their audience how unfairly Frederick and many other slaves were treated because because in the Document “‘ Pro Slavery Arguments South’’ on paragraph 6 it says,”Southern slaveholders pro-slavery arguments defended the interest of the plantation owners against attempts by abolitionists, lower classes, and non-whites to institute a more equal social structure.”
In Frederick Douglass’s book, he writes accounts of his time in slavery and beyond. Throughout the book, Douglass writes about not only the physical hardships slaves endured, but the mental and emotional hardships as well. In Chapter X, Douglass describes a battle he had with a temporary slave owner named Mr. Covey. After the fight concludes, Douglass writes, “This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood.
In his narrative, Frederick Douglass explained the concept of manhood by emphasizing on how one should be acknowledge with their own identities and have their own possession of clothes, shelter, and foods as well as privileges that God has given them. Manhood is an important measurement for Douglass because every man discovers, have desires, and develop passions whenever a man looks into himself or by a mirror of reflection. Throughout his journey as a slave, Douglass observed and experiment the cruciality of mankind when one has the power to take control of their subjects. From Mrs. Auld’s amazing lessons, education has helped him not only able to read and write but also understand the reasons behind slavery existence (Douglass, pg 22-23).
In the book, “Narrative of the Life of FREDERICK DOUGLASS”, expresses about the cruelty and inevitable punishments towards the slaves. Mr.Frederick talks about his early childhood as a slave, and how he grows every day to fight for his freedom. Until the day Mr.Douglass is freed, he tries to endure the lashing of his masters(slave owners) and tries to educate himself by giving away his own food to the educated children, so the educated children will teach him how to read, write, and more. Although the attempt to teach slaves was illegal, Mr.Douglass found people who weren't educated enough to know not to teach a slave, like white children.
Frederick Douglass in his narrative “Why I learned to Read and Write” demonstrates how he surpassed many obstacles along the way towards getting an education. These obstacles not only shaped Frederick’s outlook on life but also influenced him in his learning to read and write. Frederick’s main challenge was that of not being an owner of his person but rather a slave and a property to someone else. Frederick Douglass lived in the time when slavery was still taking place and slaveholders viewed slavery and education as incompatible. The slave system didn’t allow mental or physical freedom for slaves; slaveholders were to keep the apt appearance and slaves were to remain ignorant.
Furthermore, Education opened Douglass’s eyes to the reality of his injustice as a slave; thus, compelling him to action as he recalls, “In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. ”(Douglass, 2014, p.133) Education caused Douglass heartache. While attaining his education benefited Douglass, he could not relate to his fellow slaves. The fellow slaves had the ability to remain content with their current state of being since it was all they had ever known. Douglass knew otherwise and longed for the forbidden life as a free man, as it changed from an unattainable idea into an achievable
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters.
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
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.
Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property.
All the terrible and inhuman things that Douglass describes are the practical and usual things that happened in his time, they are not extraordinary. His true stories and multiple details from his life give the reader an idea about the effects of slavery on the life of different people in the
Douglass was sent to live with Mr. Edward Covey in January 1833. Thomas Auld considered Douglass as a reluctant slave, so he sent to a slave breaker, Edward Dovey. Covey was a poor land renter who took slaves and used them to work his land while receiving training and discipline. Covey was known for his inhuman and harsh treatment of slaves. Douglass constantly thinking of freedom, so he did not follow instructions of his new master.
Frederick Douglass was a great writer, but he wasn’t always. He was an escaped slave who used that in his speeches as a topic to gain the attention of his audience. His audience was a seemingly sympathetic one and got to them through rhetorical questions. Douglass wanted to convey the message that there are many changes that need to be made.