Frederick Douglass Narrative Summary

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Jessica Harris Febuary 12, 2015 EN 345 Dr. Shugars Douglass Article “The Private and Public Voice of Frederick Douglass” Gibson, Donald. "Reconciling Public and Private in Frederick Douglass' Narrative." American Literature 57.4 (1985): 549-659. Duke University Press. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <>. In Donald B. Gibson’s article entitled, “Reconciling Public and Private in Frederick Douglass’ Narrative,” published by Duke University Press in American Literature in December of 1985, he points out the private and public of Frederick Douglass in the Narrative. The article is solely based on the private things that Douglass elaborated on and the public things that he mentioned. Gibson begins by letting the reader know that…show more content…
He believes that the true climax of the narrative is the private, psychological one, explicitly revealing the formation on Douglass’ part of a new consciousness, a different awareness and sense of self and a firm resolves for the future. During the next few paragraphs of the article that references Douglass’ public and is private, Gibson also points out that Douglass does not in fact explain and give detail on how he actually escaped, “ that telling how he escaped would increase danger to others using that means,” Gibson finds this reasoning is a part of the private Douglass. He refers back to Chapter Ten to conclude the wrap-up of the article with Douglass’ struggle with Mr. Covey. Although, Douglass do not let us know how he escaped, the private Douglass, the public Douglass lets us know that he is free after stating, Gibson quotes Douglass, “ It was a glorious resurrection from the tomb of slavery to the heaven of freedom.” (Pg. 555) Gibson wonders whether the definition rests upon a public or private criterion. Is one free because one feels free, or is one free because law, custom and circumstances say
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