Book Report The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglass
The Narrative life of Fredrick Douglass was written by Fredrick Douglass himself, an abolitionist, human rights and women's rights activist, orator, author, journalist, publisher, and social reformer. Fredrick was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, which was about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot County, Maryland. He was born in the year 1818 and died at the age of 77 in the year 1895. In fact, since Fredrick was born a slave, he himself had no accurate knowledge of his age, by which he had never seen any authentic record containing it. But even though he was born a slave, Fredrick was different. He was committed to the thought of “freedom”, and dedicated his entire life working hard in order to achieve his goal; justice for all Americans, in particular African-Americans, women, and minority groups. Despite of all the different assumptions on why Fredrick Douglass wrote “The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglass”, it was written with the intention to make readers more aware of how serious slavery was back then, and to give readers a better idea of what it was like. The book took place in the 1800’s, specifically throughout 1817 and 1840. This book was mainly about Fredrick’s life as a slave. It also gave a very good insight of the slave life; Fredrick went in depth about his everyday experiences, troubles, and even the ups and downs he faced, including his escape. The main purpose of “The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglass” was to make readers more aware of how serious slavery was back then, and to also give readers a better visual and understanding of what it was like. Fredrick showed the cruelty of slavery by constantly giving his readers a very descriptive visual of different occasions where a slaveholder would punish his slaves. For example, when he explained how his own aunt would be whipped:
“I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood. No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose. The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.” (Page 5, Chapter1)
Despite of how cruel this sounds, Fredrick had no filter. He made this cruelty sound as if it was normal. For which, it was. As a slave this happened every day, to multiple slaves, and for the most redundant things.
This book took place in the 1800’s, specifically during the year 1817 and 1840. In the book, Fredrick described the time period to be very cruel. He explained how the United States separated the North from the South. The north side of the United States was where Fredrick ultimately planned to escape to, where there is no slavery taking place, where he would be a free man. On the other hand, the South is where slavery took place. This includes multiple plantations where slaveholders held slaves captive. It was also a cruel time period, because the slaveholders had a “heart of iron” and would punish slaves in the most unimaginable ways.
“Master would keep this lacerated young woman tied up in this horrid situation four or five hours at a time. I have known him to tie her up early in the morning, and whip her before breakfast; leave her, go to his store, return at dinner, and whip her again, cutting her in the places already made raw with his cruel lash.” (Page 52, Fredrick Douglass) Overall, “The Narrative life of Fredrick Douglass” was about his life and journey as a slave. He begins the book with explaining that he was born in Talbot County, Maryland, and how he did not know his birthday because such information was often kept from slaves, which was terrible and bothered him greatly throughout his life. He explained how he rarely saw his mother and how the identity