Slavery In Frederick Douglass Narrative

1063 Words5 Pages
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative serves to completely nullify the mythology surrounding slavery. Mythology is a set of stories, traditions, or beliefs associated with a particular group or the history of an event, arising naturally or deliberately fostered. The mythology behind slavery is that it is an institution that “civilizes” African-Americans while also providing them with the benefits of a place to live and work. Douglass refutes this mythology by rebuking the romantic image of slavery, nullifying the belief of black inferiority, and exposing the inculcation of false beliefs in the slaves.
Slavery’s romanticized view is tarnished in Douglass’ Narrative with the use of vivid imagery and specific diction that depict the true conditions of
…show more content…
However, Douglass’ Narrative proves that both he and his fellow slaves are equal to the whites in their intellectual capabilities. This first display of intelligence is in chapter nine when Douglass set his master’s horse free,“ [His] reason for this kind of carelessness, or carefulness, was, that [he] could always get something to eat when [he] went there. Master William Hamilton, [his] master’s father-in-law, always gave his slaves enough to eat. [He] never left there hungry, no matter how great the need of my speedy return” (Douglass 49). This is the most prominent display of Douglass’ capabilities as he uses the escaped horse as an excuse to finally eat a decent meal. Douglass’ ability to problem solve shows that he is far more intellectually capable than people believe. Aside from Douglass, many of his fellow slaves also display a degree of intellect that defies southern beliefs. In chapter ten, Douglass and many other slaves, “ instead of spending the Sabbath in wrestling, boxing, and drinking whiskey, were trying to learn how to read the will of God; for [the masters] had much rather see [them] engaged in those degrading sports, than to see us behaving like intellectual, moral, and accountable beings” (Douglass 69). Instead of succumbing to the influence of their masters, the slaves break free from their mental bonds by teaching

More about Slavery In Frederick Douglass Narrative

Open Document