To What Extent Does Frederick Douglass Show Courage

697 Words3 Pages

How Douglass Demonstrated His Courage and How it is a Defining Element of The Human Spirit Frederick Douglass demonstrated many acts of courage in his narrative, many of which gave hope and inspiration to fellow slaves at the time. Slaves were treated very poorly and were given a low place in society. Those who supported slavery despised those who were against it, and any slaves who attempted to stand up for themselves or others were punished severely. To boldly stand up for what is morally right, especially during that time, was an enormous act of courage in itself. “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog” (Twain). Many things Douglass achieved during his time as a slave could be taken as courageous and dangerous, but a few examples stand out. “Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no precaution could prevent me from taking the ell” (Douglass 44). This quote shows Frederick Douglas’s determination to seek the truth once he learned how …show more content…

He would then sneak into his master’s home and take his child’s homework to copy in order to practice writing. He would also look up definitions in the dictionary for words he had difficulty with. Douglass would write himself notes to be excused if he were found on the road, since slaves ‘couldn’t write’. His handwriting was almost identical with that of young Master Thomas’s, which could have led him to be caught on the spot. If it was discovered that, just as he learned to read, he was taught to write, he would be sent off, killed, or beaten badly. Additionally, if the little poor boys who helped him write got caught, they would be penalized along side Frederick Douglass. “‘He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm’” (Douglass

Open Document