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Frederick douglas - Book Report/Review Example

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Running Head: NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDRICK DOUGLASS Book review: Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass: An American slave The Douglass narrative, Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass: An American slave begins with the few facts that the author himself is aware of his identity…
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Download file to see previous pages He exposed how the slave women became the victim of sex hunger of the slave owners which would ensure the expansion of their slave populations, “for by this cunning arrangement, the slave holder, ….., sustains to his slaves the double relation of master and father” (Douglass, 1960, p.19) . The book focuses on the life of Douglass and his slave companions and the brutal treatment they were exposed to. The book is a journey into Douglass life, the thoughts, the feelings, the adventures that he has undergone in the twenty years of his bondage. The book is a chronicle and discourse on the abolition of slavery. It has been considered as an effective memoir to fuel the abolitionist movement in the early 1990s in the United States. The book is an autobiography of the author which exposes the hard life of the slaves. By the use of vibrant yet embellished prose Douglass takes his readers into the journey of his struggle as a slave. The first chapter of the book reveals Douglass search for the sense of belongingness where he says, “I have no accurate knowledge of my age”. Douglass has spent twenty years of his life as a slave and during that phase he came across different masters, some had been kind and some were cruel. His first master was Captain Anthony whose overseer Mr. Plummer was a “savage monster” who was always armed with “cow skin” and “a heavy cudgel”. (Douglass, 1960, p. 19) The stay with the Colonel Lloyd exposed him to the brutality of his master when he witnessed the whipping of Aunt Hester. This was his first exposure to the “bloody transaction”. (Douglass, 1960, p.21) By narrating the incidents of his stay with the masters, Douglass makes an effort to reveal the cruelty and the atrocity that the slaves were exposed to. The narrative is an effort to voice the crime that was being committed by the white owners on its dark slaves. (Douglass, 1960, p. 19) The second chapter opens with the introduction of Douglass’ new master, the family of Captain Thomas Auld. He talks about the limited allowances that the slave got to feed and cover themselves. Here for the first time Douglass was exposed to education as Mrs. Auld was kind enough to read him books and teach him how to read and write. But this act does not continue for long as Mr. Auld intervenes, “learning would spoil the best nigger in the world, and it would forever unfit him to be a slave.” (Douglass, 1960, p. 78) But he did not give up there and managed to read books which evoked in him the thirst for freedom. His journey continued and his master changed and every time the new master got all the more cruel, untill he met William Freeland who was a kind master. There he found a family in the rest of the slaves but that was not freedom exactly and the very quest of breathing free air let him escape which eventually failed and he was caught making him work again at the Chesapeake Bay. But this time he made arrangement in such a way so that he could save enough for himself to enable him to escape to New York. It was the third day of September, 1838, that finally Douglass, “left his chains and succeeded in reaching New York”. The feeling of freedom was like a feeling of escaping from “the hungry lion”. (Douglass, 1960, p. 107) The fear of being caught made him attend anti-slavery convention, where he spoke for the first ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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