Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, American Civil War Pages: 3 (900 words) Published: February 6, 2013
Frederick Douglass: Slave Life and His Constitution Views
Throughout reading "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass", one does not simply learn and discover the everyday average slave life style, Douglass incorporates his own mental philosophies as to how slavery and society is ran during that time by telling it from his own first person prospective, and he also uncovers the evils that slavery hides. Slaves during the antebellum of the Civil War had faced not only many physical threats by their slaveholder or master, but mental dangers as well.

Douglass’s Narrative demonstrates the double purpose of the work as both a personal account and a public argument. Douglass introduces the reader to his own circumstances by telling his birthplace and the fact that he does not know his own age. He then generalizes from his own experience, explaining that almost no slaves know their true ages. Next, Douglass takes this detail of his experience and analyzes it. He points out that slave owners purposely keep their slaves ignorant, and that this is a tactic whites use to gain power over slaves. This is the structure Douglass uses in his Narrative. He presents his personal experience as a typical slave experience, and then usually makes a point about the experience and what it tells us about how slavery works and why it is wrong.

Douglass intends to use the Narrative to expose the more evil underside of slavery. He writes to educate audiences about what really goes on at slave plantations, including more cruel and destructive behaviors. For example, he devotes his writings to a discussion about white slave owners impregnating their slaves. He does not seek to overly shock his readers. He presents a practice and explains how it touches on both slaves and slave owners. Despite the unfair treatment given to the female slaves, Douglass incorporates his own experiences with the slaveholders' destructiveness through the memory of his meeting with Edward Covey. From the...
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