Role Of Slavery In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass reveals his life as a slave and the valuable lessons he learned from his experience. Douglass wants the truth about slavery to be revealed and wants to eliminate the lies that portray slavery as beneficial. Douglass exposes the reality of slavery by criticizing the “romantic image” of slavery, showing the intellectual capabilities slaves had, and revealing the reasons why slaves were disloyal to each other. Douglass criticizes the southern, romantic image of slavery by exposing the harsh treatment and sadness that slaves endured. It was southerners who thought slavery as beneficial, because it benefited themselves and white society. Southern slaveholders believed what they were only doing was normal, yet the reality was much worse. …show more content…

In his Narrative, Douglass recalls being woken up by his aunt who was “… [tied] up to a joist, and [whipped] upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood,” (22). Living a happy life does not include occasional beatings and the fear looming around. The romantic image is false since slaves did not have positive feelings when they were separated from their family, or when they were beaten until the slave owner saw blood. The songs that slaves sang revealed the false, romantic image of slavery. People thought they sang because they were content. These songs were far from joyful, they would sing “…the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone…” and these songs would “… [breathe] the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish.” (29). Douglass argues against the positive image of slavery that portrayed slaves to be

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