The Role Of Sandy In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass is given a root by another slave, Sandy. Frederick does take the root, but he calls Sandy and his belief in the root superstition and typical ignorance of other slaves. Douglass's firm conviction in his religion and belief in God help give him confidence and strength, but leaves him feeling superior and arrogant to others. Douglass dislikes the slave owners who claim to be devout Christians most of all. When talking about Mr. Covey, who displayed his terrible nature in his reactions to the minor inconveniences Douglass cost him, Douglass focuses most on Covey’s lying about his religiousness. At the start of Douglass’s comments on Covey’s lying, …show more content…

The possibly magical root was small, and the only rule to it was that you had to have it on your person, specifically on your right side. That is all it took and then, according to Sandy, it would be “impossible for Mr. Covey, or any white man, to whip him” (Douglass 80). While Douglass did agree to take the root and carry it in his right pocket, he only did so because Sandy said how it would “do no harm, if it did no good” (Douglass 80). Sandy, who had invited Douglass over to his wife’s house, had to carefully persuade Douglass to just carry a small something in his pocket, having to say that even if he is wrong and his belief in the root is misplaced, it at least won't do any harm. On a footnote later on, Douglass said that Sandy’s “superstition is very common among the more ignorant slaves” (Douglass 89). This is a firm dismissal of someone who Douglass even calls “a clever soul” (Douglass 89) and is helpful and kind to someone in a bad position, where there is nothing to gain. Douglass is very assured that his way, Christianity, is the right way. That being said, Douglass does not require people to be religious. One of his last owners, Mr Freeland, who Douglass calls his best master until he became his own master, did not claim or pretend to be more religious than he was. The lack of religious hypocrisy is one of the main reasons that Douglass likes

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