Fredrick Douglass

Fredrick Douglass’ narrative is a dramatic testimony of human will. His story is
intriging as well as compelling. This man lived in an era that we currently study with
amazement. He saw and understood the institution of slavery and the white man’s
ideology, behind it. The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, was written by
himself following his escape to New Bedford, New England. The version of
this passage has some resourceful history as a foundation for the reader. Explaining
important transitions in Douglass’ life and how the abolitionist movement came about in
the northeastern region of the American States. After England rid their country of
slavery, the Puritans sparked a rejuvenation of Christian morals in America. The
Jeremiads warned their fellow Christians of the evils of slavery and this initially started
the abolition movement. Douglass’ narrative is viewed primarily as abolitionist
propaganda however; it is clear that Mr. Douglass suffered the cruelties that he describes
in his life, prior to escape. He meet an activists named Garrison and after hearing
Douglass speak in Nantucket, Garrison hired him to give anti-slavery speeches across
New England. Garrison was an extremist with many aspects of the early American
government. Some of his views were so radical that he caused stagnation instead of
progress with the anti-slavery movement. Garrison and Douglass disagreed on certain
ideologies centered around the anti-slave movement. Once Douglass escaped and
received the Liberator for the first time, he then started participating in anti-slavery
Douglass’ writing style in his narrative was a brilliant display of understanding
your audience. He knew that his manuscript must be written in a way which would both
draw sympathy towards the abolitionists cause and not offend the Victorian culture who
would read it.The most profound idea that I found in this book came from his subtle
analogies of the suffrage of women and slaves. From the beginning of his story he starts
out with dark realities of slave women and sexual abuse from their masters. I think he
saw women in slavery as a different entity than men in slavery. Perhaps he felt that they
suffered more due to these extra duties which were demanded of them.
His mistress in Baltimore was the first kind white woman he had ever met. She
taught him to read until her husband justified how important it was to keep slaves
ignorant. Young Fredrick soon realized that slaves were not the only people who had
become suppressed to the white mans word. He felt apathy toward his mistress for her
world grew very hard and cold, once she had been introduced to the de-humanizing
institution of slavery. Many wives of slave owners had little more rights than the slaves
Douglass was a man before his time in all aspects. The mere capability to
conceive these revolutionary thoughts were achievement enough for a non-free African
American slave, of this era. Women’s rights had not even been a realistic
accomplishment to acquire and so Douglass was discrete in his narrative when addressing
this issue. Fredrick Douglass, his third chosen last name, was a protegee. Did he come
into these ideas and inspirations out of necessity or chance? Probably a bit of both. He is
a hero of our country who struck courage into the hearts of many.
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