Frederick Douglass Essay examples

Submitted By hcampbell10
Words: 1100
Pages: 5

Frederick Douglass was an African American slave who dreamt all his life of being a freeman. Not only was he a slave, but he was very involved in his religious life of Christianity. Regardless of his hardships he went through, Douglass always had hope and believed that one day God would set him free. This kind of optimism was thought highly of amongst the other slaves who had little to no hope of freedom whatsoever. These slaves lived in a society in which land was only free to the whites, and the oppression of these slaves was taking its toll on them. Throughout his journey to freedom, Frederick Douglass kept journals of his life and eventually put together The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself in 1845. Being born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass had no chance of being a freeman from the start. He was born to Harriet Bailey and white male, Aaron Anthony, who is assumed to be his mother’s owner. In 1826 when he was moved to live on another property after the death of his mother and father, Douglass began to learn how to read. He was taught by Sophia who was his new owner. Unfortunately, her husband forbade her because learning “would forever unfit him to be a slave” (Baym 1171). Nevertheless, Frederick Douglass continued his reading and writing on his own, which, in the long run, was a huge benefit for him. During his later career, Frederick Douglass explored his options. He subscribed to William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator who was an abolitionist. He heard Douglass give his first speech on antislavery and shortly hired him. Giving antislavery speeches around the nation was liberating and dangerous for Douglass; however. There were mobs and attacks broken out during his speeches that ended up injuring him. Later, he wrote The Narrative Of the Life of Frederick Douglass and sold thirty thousand copies in its first five years. This was greatly beneficial to Douglass as an international spokesperson for freedom and equality. This book was praised for its descriptiveness and how it was obvious that Douglass had written it in his own words. Douglass “shaped the facts of his life to underscore the particular truths that he wished to convey at the moment of composition” (Baym 1172). He used realistic stories and he made his books so detail oriented, and was praised on the imagery and personification. He was a very strong family-man and praised his mother and grandmother’s influence they had on his culture and his life. Frederick Douglass was separated from his mother soon after birth and he assumes this is so, “to hinder the development of the child’s affection toward it’s mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the m other for the child” (Douglass 18). He believes that his father is his mother’s white master, because it was common for masters to impregnate their female slaves. Douglass explains that he believes that mixed slaves have it worse than full African American slaves, because “they are, in the first place, a constant offence to their mistress” (Douglass 19). The main point of why Douglass wrote this book was to inform people of the dehumanization of slavery. Throughout The Narrative, we can read about stories from people he knew or saw, therefore we don’t really hear about Frederick in the beginning of the book. In chapters three and four, we read about Colonel Lloyd’s plantation to set the scenery for the reader, and to also ensure the accreditation of the book. His main point is to express how unjust it is for whites to get away with what they’re doing. He wants to convince white Northerners that the events he witnessed- like a white man killing a black man- are unjust. In The Narrative, Douglass portrays himself as both the narrator and the protagonist of the story. The two personas are changing throughout the story, and he eventually progresses from uneducated slave, to an articulate commentator. In the text, he frequently dramatizes the