Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass is one of the most influential black American reformers of the nineteenth century who fought for the abolition of slavery and made countless efforts to end racial discrimination…
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In the opening sentences of his narrative, Douglass stated the fact that slave owners thought of slaves as animals (Douglass, 47). It was not just the slave owners who treated their slaves as animals but the slaves themselves also had the perception about themselves. The access to reading opened a new world for Douglass and casted a new light on the world he was already living. The dawning of self-consciousness was the outcome of the acquisition of reading skills, which made him capable to think independently. He also stated that learning to read was a curse rather than a blessing because after gaining knowledge he was able to see his miserable condition with no remedy to get out of it (Douglass, 84). Douglass occasional regrets regarding his wretched condition were due to the knowledge that self-education afforded him and was the main source to change his status from a slave. The ability to read and write was important in the eyes of Douglass because it was through this ability he was able to describe his story in his own words and refuted the common misconception that slaves were not capable enough to communicate through the standard conventions of American literature. The ability to fully understand his environment and comprehend the hopelessness of the situation faced by him and other slaves was only because of the literacy which was the greatest tool to work for the freedom of slaves. This revolutionary incident of Douglass was the turning point in his career as a slave which revived a wave of manhood in his heart (Douglass, 113). There are no illusions that education plays a key role in setting slaves free because it equips them with the skills and knowledge to improve their lives. It helps in articulating the injustice caused by the slavery and awakens the consciousness to fight against abolition. In case of Frederick Douglass, he was able to reveal the strategy of his master, Hugh Auld, about how he used to manage to keep blacks as slaves and by which blacks would be able to free themselves. This quote from his narration clearly depicts the importance of learning: “If you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master” (Douglass, 49). These ironic words were delivered to the Mistress, wife of Auld, who taught Douglass how to read and was strictly forbidden because they believed that education ruins slaves. The transformation of a kind-hearted woman to a harsh mistress made him realize that the institution of slavery has a major effect on well-intentioned people as well (Douglass, 82). This means that illiteracy and ignorance were the most important elements in the subjugation of slaves. The desire to gain more knowledge was not only a constant battle for Douglass as it was unlawful to teach a slave to read and had to be a secretive process (Douglass, 20). Douglas further said that his mistress gave him the start by teaching the alphabets and nothing was so powerful to prevent him from learning (Douglass, 81). The harsh attitude of mistress and vigilance to stop Douglass from seeking knowledge by many means made him clear that an educated slave is a dangerous notion for the masters. It can be noticed that when it comes to education, masters and slaves are inherently opposite to each other. The thing that changed the whole life
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It is a highly regarded as the most famous piece of writing done by a former slave. Fredrick Douglass (1818-1895) was a social reformer, statesman, orator and writer in the United States. Douglass believed in the equality of every individual of different races, gender or immigrants.
In the days of slavery, Douglass had managed to read and write before he fled to New York City. His love for education and extensive readings helped him to developed oratory skills that were even uncommon in white men. Douglass effectively used the power of words in both his writings and speech.
On the other hand, the story Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an account of a young fictitious couple: Goodman Brown and his wife Faith. It depicts how the evil spirit inside human beings lures them into committing acts of sin, which adversely affects their relationship with their loved ones.
Denied freedom, they lived lives that were not valued as human lives and they were also not allowed to enter into certain trades. In the plantations of the south, they were employed as slaves and were treated like animals. Much of what is known about the hardships that they had to face comes from accounts of their lives written during that time.
In Candide, Voltaire presents a critique of the hypocrisy of Enlightenment Age European society using the technique of satire. Frederick Douglass’ work, by contrast, presents a critique of slavery era American society through the technique of autobiography.
Racism uniquely favors members of a certain race making them more desirable and superior while making others seem inferior. Racism is a global social issue that attracts the concern of various organizations and governments due to the adverse effects it has on humanity.
lass’s narrative however, is much more than a documentation of personal experiences, it is an indictment of the dehumanizing aspects of indoctrination and containment. In other words, slavery is portrayed as an imprisonment of both the body and the mind. Education is
This essay examines the conclusion of Douglass’ narrative in terms of the important feelings that are expressed in chapter X and XI of the text, as they demonstrate pivotal transformations in Douglass’
Frederick Douglass narrates the slavery in America and how it denied people some of the Godly given fundamental rights. He presents a number of arguments against slavery in the South and gave a number of examples on how slaves faced brutal treatment. He adopts a persuasive narration against slavery by explaining some of the ordeals he witnessed.
Since the book is a description of Douglass suffering as a slave, it shows that human rights and justice were not availed to all during the antebellum era. During the antebellum period, blacks were mistreated and sexually harassed by their masters. Douglas notes his father to be the master even though he was denied the right to call him the father.
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