Jackson, Cheyenne History 114 Dr. Woods 11/14/2011 Book Review: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass As Frederick Douglass describes his life in the book, “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, he emphasizes the importance of freedom. Douglass tries to convince his readers that the only way him and slaves can make it through life is if they learn how to read and write. As you can see from the book, many of the slaves don’t know their age. However, Douglass tries to point out different reasons for why slaves were not allowed to know their age such as their color or how it will make them function. Douglass was always confused as to why whites knew their age but blacks didn’t.
Frederick Douglass: Freedom Fighter In Frederick Douglass’s narrative he addresses the many things that led him to his freedom from slavery. Learning to read and write were two of these important tools. But neither of these were as necessary to his becoming free as the defiance Douglas gained from a fight he had with his master at the time, Mr. Covey, was. Although learning to read was very important for Fredrick Douglass’s path to freedom, his battle with Mr.
You see knowledge is the same. It will help you at times to make decisions or find the truth, but at other times all that comes of it is confusion, hence Douglass’s dilemma. Being a slave, Fredrick Douglass was forbidden from learning to read or write. His first lessons came from his Mistress, who in the beginning was a kind woman, but time changes us all. She taught him how to read and by doing so Douglass sought new truths and powers.
It is here that I think Douglass makes another significant step, that is when he creates protections for himself and his clan, or as I like to think of it, their own declaration of independence from the slave community. But, like all things thus far in Douglass’s life, things fell through, and he suffered the mean hand of a relentless slave system. Although Douglas had burned his fake protection papers in order to save himself and his allies, the declaration was still clear in his mind. Like a true revolutionary, he stuck to it and eventually experienced life unrestrained by the horrid slave community in which he came from. It truly is amazing how much Douglass went through in order to experience life outside of his own community.
Also, he tells about part of his life as a free man. The book, being an autobiography, may not appeal to some readers but it is, in fact, a great book. There are many prominent literary devices used in the work such as; themes, symbolism, point of view, and motifs. There are many different themes used in the book, some more prominent than others. Some themes include; how important literacy was in gaining freedom, the role of Christianity in slavery, and the ignorance of slaveholders as a way of reinforcing slavery.
By 1855 Douglass had his own newspaper, The North Star and wrote his second biography, My Bondage and My Freedom. Douglass spent the rest of his life working a as a political leader to end slavery. Douglass was an individualist because he first tried to perfect himself then wanted to help others. Douglass educated himself because he knew that he wouldn’t be able to function in society if he didn’t know how to read and write. He had to maintain independence because he was a slave and knew that he could be moved around to the ownership of another slave master.
Gordon should have given the book a chance by actually reading it with his class, instead of walking out on it because he kept hearing the would niggers. It is understandable that he got offended by that word being used numerous times throughout one chapter, but he should have kept continuing to read it to see what else the book said. Little did he know that the author was not trying to insult colored people because the book tells a story about how a young, white boy helps out a black slave to become free from slavery and protects him throughout
The slave era can be agreed it was a terrible atrocity upon our fellow man, and it cannot be brought into a light of just, but it did give birth to some true characters who we can look up to and live alike. The characters in both Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass are ideal examples of true characters as they pushed through slavery and gained freedom but did not stop there. Jacobs’ spent her freedom getting her families’ freedom and Douglass went on to help others escape and spread knowledge on the cruelty of slavery. The last thing, and most powerful thing this book left me with is that each slave was an individual unalike any other, and these individuals were in fact an individual, individuals who lived their life for the betterment of others and accomplished an impossible
He speaks of growing up without a sense of family, not to mention a sense of self. He describes horrendously brutal acts of whippings, beatings, and even murders. But he also describes freedom – an entitlement of the Declaration of Independence that this nation was built on, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Douglass speaks of the joy of working to earn wages that go to no one other than himself. He breaks free of the chains of slavery and joins the abolitionist movement as an eloquent speaker and writer.
They discussed what possible adventures they would pursue together. This brought the group closer. Coming together was necessary while living in oppressive conditions. Douglass could have planned to escape alone, but he genuinely desired to help his brothers. Even after the plan was uncovered, each slave could not fathom the idea of being separated.