Since Douglass was very much an educated man by the time he wrote the Narrative, it is as hard for him to describe his emotions and thoughts when he was completely devoid of knowledge as it is for a blind and deaf man to describe what he thought and felt before he learned to communicate with the outside world. Culture, society, and common beliefs are our bridge to communication with one another. Douglass, then, could never really explain all of what and how he felt about himself in his earlier slave days in such a way that those who read his autobiography would ever understand completely.
Our first glimpse of Douglass is as a small boy, without a birthday, father, or any sort of identity. "I have no accurate knowledge of my age A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood." (p. 39) Forced to eat his meals of mush out of a trough, wearing nothing but a long, coarsely-woven shirt, and being kept in complete mental darkness, Douglass was completely dehumanized even before he experienced the horrible violence of the slaveholders towards their slaves. His proof of the evil of slavery, a main theme in the Narrative, is mostly through visual descriptions of the violence... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Frederick Douglass: Portraying Slaveholders. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Frederick-Douglass-Portraying-Slaveholders-14821.html
"Frederick Douglass: Portraying Slaveholders" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Frederick-Douglass-Portraying-Slaveholders-14821.html>.
"Frederick Douglass: Portraying Slaveholders." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Frederick-Douglass-Portraying-Slaveholders-14821.html.