He's born a slave on Colonel Lloyd's plantation, but as a child he's mostly spared the worst kinds of suffering. Later in age he does witness the terrible acts of punishment brought upon other slaves. He sees his Aunt Hester get beaten for something that is not really her fault, but he's too young to be whipped himself. So his first turning point is sort of simplistic, but also important, the realization that he is a slave and all that that entails. As Douglass becomes a young man, he starts fighting to actually be free. There was a certain incident when he talks back to his master. Following this incident, his master sends him to work for the most well known notorious "slave breaker," Covey. Covey tries to destroy Douglass's spirit. For a while it works, and Douglass breaks and is demeened to the state of mind of an animal. Thus forcing him to the lowest mental point in his life. Another epiphany occurs when he decides that he'd rather die than be treated like a slave anymore. So the next time Covey tries to whip him, he stands up to him. After a couple of hours spent wrestling with Douglass, Covey leaves him alone. Douglass vows never to be whipped again. And he never
Frederick Douglass published two similar versions of his fight with the ‘slave-breaker’ Edward Covey in the tenth chapter of his The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, and in the seventeenth chapter of My Bondage and My Freedom. By comparing the two accounts it is possible to see an evolution of his thoughts on abolishing slavery and person hood which occurred in the years which transpired between the two works, 1845 and 1855.
Frederick Douglass was a great writer, but he wasn’t always. He was an escaped slave who used that in his speeches as a topic to gain the attention of his audience. His audience was a seemingly sympathetic one and got to them through rhetorical questions. Douglass wanted to convey the message that there are many changes that need to be made.
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery.
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass's battle with his master Covey is a turning point in his career as a slave in that he resolves to no longer be docile and subservient as a slave. In fighting back against Covey, Douglass frees his mind from the psychological effects of slavery.
Hope and fear, two contradictory emotions that influence us all, convicted Frederick Douglass to choose life over death, light over darkness, and freedom over sin. Douglass, in Chapter ten, pages thirty-seven through thirty-nine, of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, utilizes various rhetorical techniques and tone shifts to convey his desperation to find hope in this time of misery and suffering. Mr. Covey, who Douglass has been sent to by his master to be broken, has succeeded in nearly tearing all of Douglass’s dreams of freedom away from him. To expound on his desires to escape, Douglass presents boats as something that induces joy to most but compels slaves to feel terror. Given the multiple uses of repetition, antithesis, indirect tone shifts, and various other rhetorical techniques, we can see Douglass relaying to his audience the hardships of slavery through ethos, the disheartening times that slavery brings, and his breakthrough of determination to obtain freedom.
After being separated from his mother at a young age, Frederick Douglass fights back against slavery and human rights. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, the author, Frederick Douglass, uses powerful rhetoric to disprove the Pragmatic and the Scientific pro-slavery arguments of Pre-Civil War America.
Douglass encountered multiple harsh realities of being enslaved. For example, the ex-slave was practically starved to death by his masters on multiple occasions. In fact, “[He was] allowed less than a half of a bushel of corn-meal per week, and very little else...It was not enough for [him] to subsist upon...A great many times [he had] been nearly perishing with hunger” (pg 31). Douglass managed to overcome the maltreatment of his wretched slave owners through the eventual attainment of freedom. The injustice imposed upon the African-American slaves by their owners was the crux of Douglass’s motivation to escape this inhumane life. Adolescents in today’s society could use Frederick’s determination as an example of moving forward to better oneself or one’s situation regardless of
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
Frederick Douglass, an African American slave, went through many obstacles to become a free man. Frederick Douglass not only kept his head held high through all of the troubles he faced, he also was fearless, defiant, and determined. All of these qualities are what helped him escape slavery in the long run.
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
The purpose of realism in the 1800s was to get people’s attention. The authors did that by relating to real life situations or adding in things people wanted or needed. For example, Frederick Douglass wrote My bondage And my freedom and Kate Chopin wrote “ The story of an hour”. Both authors included the point that people wanted to be free. When they both got what they wanted, they were not really free. The authors used methods to draw their points across by using conflict and irony.
In Frederick Douglass's essay "Learning to read and write” he recalls the journey to enlightenment showcasing the emotions of joy, hunger, heartache and hope. For example learning to read sparked an unstoppable joy for knowledge. In addition the discovery of that knowledge found Douglass hungry for more. Also the quest for intelligence came at a price causing him a great amount of heartache. Finally a simple thought of the future brought the hope that ultimately inspired him to persevere and succeed in learning to read and write.
Frederick Douglass was able to stand up for what he believed in because he did not focus on the negatives of slavery. He was not a so called “normal” slave because he focused on education, versus working, which is what most slaves were forced to focus on. Douglass even took his slave life to another level when he attacked his master, Mr. Covey , an act of defiance and standing up for himself. Douglass notes that “it was a glorious resurrection” that was from “the tomb of slavery” , and after hitting Mr. Covey he felt as if he were in “the heaven of freedom” (Douglass). Douglass beats up his master, a clear sign of rebelliousness as well as courageousness. Obviously, a slave is bound to his master , so when Douglass hits Mr. Covey it speaks a powerful message to the general public. He feels at ease, and almost free when he disobeys his master, a path which many slaves wouldn't dare to take. Douglass also was taught to read and write, a forbidden task among slaves as it could make them have status and plot ways to escape their masters, by Mrs. Auld, a former mistress of his. So when Douglass was “sent of errands” he always “took his book” with himself and “by going one part of “ his “errand quickly” he would find “time to get a lesson” before he returned to the Aulds household (Douglass). When Mrs. Auld taught Douglass how to read, it brought his perspective of life as a slave to a whole new level. He befriends the white boys on the street and has them teach him to perfect his reading and writing skills. This is showing Douglass’ non-conformity in two ways, the first is that Douglass is being educated, as well as he is interacting with the white boys on his street, both showing Douglass’ social differences in his society. While slaves non-conform to society to try and escape the terrible burdens of slavery,
Douglass was sent to live with Mr. Edward Covey in January 1833. Thomas Auld considered Douglass as a reluctant slave, so he sent to a slave breaker, Edward Dovey.