Theme Of Slavery In Frederick Douglass

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Religion and Abuse in Frederick Douglass’s Narrative In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, there are many passages that reveal the horrors of the institution of slavery. These passages, so realistically depicted through the jaded, yet educated voice of Frederick Douglass, paint a picture within the reader’s mind that cannot quickly be forgotten. His conversational, yet eloquent tone gives the reader the impression that Douglass is intentionally detaching himself from any emotion that he may have about what he saw on the plantations. One such occasion is the story of the beating of Douglass’s Aunt Hester. Douglass explains early in his narrative that Aunt Hester was a very beautiful “woman of noble form,…show more content…
He tells the account in an educated and accurate, yet almost conversational tone. He does not bother to explain the sexual aspect of the beating, in which he could have gone into detail about the way Anthony likely treated Hester when her breasts were bare and she was hanging helpless at the joist. Although such sexual details would have made the story much more dramatic and probably could have increased the popularity of the narrative, Douglass seems to be writing the book with more of a jaded voice. That is apparent even in this solitary passage. He wants to expose slavery for all the horrors that it truly is, and for this he needs no exaggeration in the stories he tells. His simple language tells the story with the slightest hint of remembrance and sadness as the only emotion. That melancholy tone makes the reader wonder if, despite his emotion and obvious disapproval for the slave-driven society in which he lives, Douglass sometimes feels hopeless when he has to remember the things that he and his friends and family endured. His incorporation of religious elements in a text about slavery’s ills is very compelling. It is likely that inclusion of such material would be appealing to readers that would possibly have bought Douglass’s narrative, but also, the reader might assume that the events surrounding Douglass’s life as a slave caused him to form his own opinions about religion and its effect on society.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is a novel that reveals the ills of a society tainted by slavery. Using religious undertones and candid language, Douglass conveys to the reader many of his views on slavery as well as society and the religion that fuels
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