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
Frederick Douglass was a slave in the 1800s, but Douglass was not a typical slave. Douglass fought for his freedom more then the other slaves, he wanted more than anything to be free and equal to everyone else. He also had a better outlook on life then all the other slaves, he tried to be more positive even when he was involved with slavery. Douglass worked hard and knew what he had to do to get out of slavery and help the rest of his fellow slaves get out of slavery as well…
interesting to note that both Smalls and Douglass had white masters for fathers and were perhaps given a little more freedom and more advantage. However, they did not squander the opportunity and helped advance the cause of freedom.
In his autobiography, “My Bondage and My Freedom”, Douglass very eloquently spoke of the hardships he had endured and how he was taught to read by his slave mother.
Many of the intellectual white Black Suffrage groups lauded after Douglass to help advance their cause and…
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
AP English Language
January 4, 2014
2. Douglass’ thirst for knowledge came from his drive to make a better life for himself, starting through educating himself. All of his extra time and efforts went towards reading materials that explained that there was life after slavery. Through these literally works and achievements Douglass’ quest for freedom was inspired and driven. He reads about what life could potentially hold for him and this develops his…
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was one of the most prominent figures of the abolitionist movement,
a movement that fought to end slavery. A brilliant speaker, Douglass engaged in a tour of
lectures, and became recognized as one of America’s first great black speakers. Douglass also
wrote a personal narrative in 1845 titled Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Taylor 34).
Through his book , Frederick Douglass aimed to educate the uninformed Northern…
By Isabelle Smith
Frederick Douglas, a former slave, who overcame his past to become one of the worlds most influential black figures. An abolitionist, during the late 18th century, Douglas' personal history became not only his motivation but also his own nemesis in his crusade to abolish slavery.
Frederick Douglas was born on February 1818, at Holmes Hill farm, Maryland. Born into slavery, Douglas was fathered by a white man, presumably the "master" of the plantation…
CPL Jade Keffer
January 23, 2015
Frederick Douglass risked everything for others, broke the rules with the chance of serious consequences, and best of all he persevered.
5.More growing up
Frederick Douglass was a man who made a lot of difference in the world. He showed people that we don't have to comply with society if it isn't right;…
Born: February, 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland
Died: February 20, 1895
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. There, he encountered the brutalities of slavery firsthand. In 1838, after escaping from slavery, Douglass became a major advocate against the evils of slavery. He spoke forcefully against the arguments that slaves did not possess a great enough intellectual capacity to function as individual citizens. His eloquent words left people in awe…
1 March 2014
Frederick Douglass: Slavery
Throughout the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass there were many instances when slavery was indeed cruel and injustice to the humanity of the slaves during this time period. Frederick Douglass had seen and/or heard of the worst things happening to people around him, simply because of the color of their skin. Douglass had been born into slavery, which left him with not much of a choice to pursue…
Frederick Douglass was born some time in February, 1818. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but he chose to celebrate his birthday on the 14th of February. The exact year is also a mystery and throughout his life, Douglass had no accurate knowledge of his age. It was, however, estimated to be some time in early 1818. Douglass was born as a slave in Talbot County, Maryland. He was separated from his mother at a very young age as was custom in those parts and he was sent to live with his grandmother…
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, Liberty and Freedom Explained
Frederick Douglass was a former slave who was a key figure in the abolition movement. Through his speeches and discussions, many people learned of the evils that surrounded slavery. Although he was a great speaker, his most influential tool in the fight for abolition would be his narrative he wrote. Through explanation of the horrors he experienced while shackled in slavery, many people came to join the fight against the abhorred…