Dr. Manu Vimalassery
TA: Lorin Scott
Texas Tech University
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe and indeed a little learning is needed and for that I shall explain”- Frederick Douglass
In a world where justice is denied is to live in a world where righteousness and rectitude of all things do not exist, poverty is something that cannot be destroyed but that it can be kept at a distance, in a world where ignorance prevails means a world without a sense of direction, in this such world where society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade one another is not a world where no one can feel safe, a world without liberty is a world without the right to express ones thoughts, but from moments of hardship an individual must rise above others and be the voice of his life in the name of those who cant therefore a man that fulfills those spots is Frederick Douglas a man who never had the chance to have the sense of family, the sense of direction, but mainly the sense of freedom and liberty, in other words Frederick Douglas is one of the most important individuals in the history of the United States of America and a narrative of his life would be the best representation of what freedom and liberty meant for those who did not have a chance.
“Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings my mother’s death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger” (Douglass, Pg 109) Douglass experiences first hand how his master separated him from his mother at a very early time, this separation caused that douglass never developed familial feelings toward his mother, he states the demonstration of how a slave “develops”. For this time period it may have seemed normal for blacks to be kept as slaves and this type of development definitely impacted the society of that time. Douglass depicts this view as the unnaturalness of slavery, by which slave owners distort the social aspect and the natural process of life in order to turn men and women into slaves an its reasonable the frustration that douglass feels because no one would like to be separated from their families at an early age, this not only affects the child’s support network, and very important it destroys all sense of personal history nobody wants to experience that. In this quotation you can notice that douglass mentions “soothing” and “tender” with the attempt to re-enact the childhood he would have known if his mother had been present, douglass says that because he is affected by the ignorance that the slave holders cause him to have. This comparison that douglass makes about his childhood and the child he would have known ,creates a strong feeling of difference between the two and underscores the injustice that creates that difference.
In these first few moments of his life seems like he wants to know more about himself, more about all the things that happen around him and clearly at that point he figured out what he needs to do in order to achieve the things he wants the most, Freedom and Liberty.
“I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle, so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear” (Douglass, pg119). Douglass takes his personal experience of hearing slaves sing on their way to the Great House Farm and interprets this as a common experience among all slaves. He uses his conclusions about slave behavior to correct misconceptions. In this instance, douglass explains that many northerners believe that the singing of slaves is evidence of their