The Battle with Mr. Covey: From the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass Essay

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Evan Marino
11th­ 5th period
Realism Essay These Realism excerpts that we have been reading in class are definitely a little different than the usual story that we would read in class. The narratives have both enlightened me and confused quite a lot to be honest. My perception has been completely changed by read these narratives because previously I thought that idea of a war was scary to everyone and after reading Mary Chesnut’s account my thoughts on how the Civil War was treated by people just prior to and right after it began, and how not all slave owners were thoroughly bad people. In “The Battle with Mr. Covey”, Frederick explains that he was sent to Mr. Covey to be taught to work, but Mr. Covey is a very unrelenting slave master. When Mr. Covey comes to see how Frederick and his group are doing he sees that Frederick is not working because he is sick, but Mr. Covey does not care about how he feels and tells him to get back to work. Mr. Covey proceeds to hit him in the head and basically leaves him there to die. After this happens
Frederick decided, “At this moment I resolved to go to my master, enter a complaint, and ask his protection”(Douglass 1), this quote was probably one of the moments during this lesson where I was confused the most. I found that quote odd because Frederick was going to his master for

protection. Prior to reading this I had the assumption that all slave masters were terrible people just like Mr. Covey had just proved to be moments before Frederick has this idea.
Mary Chesnut’s diary also greatly changed my perception and understanding of the Civil
War. She seemed to think that the Civil war was just going to be a fun day out in the field and that nothing would really happen. After the first battle she was only mad because people would not come over to her house for a dinner party. The perception she had of the war was almost shocking to me because I never thought someone would so confused as to think that the war was actually going to like a day at the park and that there was nothing to worry about. I did know, to a certain extent, that women took these first battles