Frederick Douglass Theme Analysis

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 2 (583 words) Published: February 13, 2013
There are a number of important themes in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Themes not only occur frequently throughout The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, but are connected in various ways. Inequality and Christianity in terms of its true values within the institution of Slavery are prominent themes in Douglass’s narrative. Primarily, one of the most prominent themes in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is inequality. Douglass attempts to show how African American slaves are simply human beings like their whites, although there are numerous instances showing how many whites did not accept slaves as human. Frederick Douglass experiences the racial inequities at an early age and states: “I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell his birhday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest-time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege” (Douglass 13). Including the fact that he did not know the details of his background is an important part of the narrative since it shows an early encounter of inequality, but goes on telling the difference between the white and black children. Descriptions of inequality fill the first half of the book revealing the worth of a slave when Douglass states: “We were all ranked together at the valuation. Men and women, old and young, married ands single, were ranked with horses, sheep and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination” (Douglass 51). Given these points, Douglass wants to appeal to readers’ pathos revealing the humanity of both him and other slaves. However, another prominent theme in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick...
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