Essay about Fredrick Douglass

Submitted By jrhone2014
Words: 1008
Pages: 5

Janeé Rhone
Ms. Fitzgerald
American Literature/2
November 18, 2013
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Fredrick Douglass experienced a lot of different trial and errors throughout his life. Many of the things that Douglass experienced changed his life for the better, even for the worse. In the narrative, Douglass claims that it is possible for a slave to improve his or her life. In the events of improving his life he moved to Baltimore, learned how to read and write, and then escaped slavery, he is able to provide hope to others as they struggle in their lives. In between all of his trials, he had many errors as well. While writing his autobiography he told the story of his experiences as a slave and the journey that he ventured on in order to escape his life of slavery. Douglass moved to Baltimore to live with his new master Mr. Hugh Auld. For Douglass to have the ability to move to Baltimore he had the chance to start fresh. Douglass’ life in Baltimore seemed great until encountering Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton. Mrs. Hamilton was not the friendliest person to be around but things were pretty much the same when the subject of slave treatment is at hand. Mrs. Hamilton referred to the black female slaves as a “black gip.” (31) No matter where a slave was traded or sent to, the slave owners did not change much. There were a few of them that were known to be kind to some slaves, but it was very rare. Douglass mentioned Mrs. Hamilton because she not only negatively affected his life, but she provided a clear example of how majority of the slave owners treated the slaves. Douglass experiencing this negativity allowed him to slowly gain confidence to escape slavery with the fear of being caught. This is one of the major events that he witnessed that allowed him to slowly get rid of the slavery mentality by gaining confidence against the slave owners. When Douglass was taught to read and write it allowed him to accomplish a lot in his life. Though it is a great accomplishment, as a slave knowing how to read and write could potentially put a slave in more harm if their master found out. Mrs. Auld was quick to turn on Douglass when she first realized how fast he was learning. She feared that Douglass would think that he had some sort of power, so “She now commenced to practice her husband’s precepts. She finally became even more violent in her opposition then her husband himself…Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper.” (33) Douglass mentioned this in his book to not only state that he accomplished something, but also that the whites can turn on any slave at any point if they wanted to. The slave masters did not care how they treated the slaves because in their mind they were helping the slaves. The whites were also known to have more power over the slaves, so in order to enforce their power they chose to make the slaves feel lower than them. No matter if a slave master was kind to a slave; it would not last for long because the whites could not be trusted no matter where you were. Escaping the torment and slavery as a whole was the only option any slave had to live a different life and no longer care what the whites thought about them. Escaping slavery is something that not many slaves were able to do without being caught, whipped or even killed. Douglass was considered one of the lucky ones to escape slavery. As many slaves are, Douglass was determined but also frantic about the failure of escaping. Though he was nervous, Douglass devised a plan of money to keep the slave owners from thinking he was planning to escape. It wasn’t easy for Douglass;