Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass-Analysis

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Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass

1.The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is one the most influential anti-slavery works written by a former slave. The narrative, which was written entirely by Douglass himself, described his life as a slave, and his road to freedom. The novel concludes with Douglass’s induction into the abolitionist cause, and continued efforts to free his fellow African Americans from bondage. While the narrative, like most other works by former slaves, was intended to expose the horrors of slavery and galvanize the public to aid the abolitionist cause, it carried an additional, more poignant message. Douglass encountered belittlement even among the white abolitionists in the North. Men like William Lloyd Garrison encouraged Douglass to share his stories of slavery to the public, but he did not allow the former slave to speak of anything else but the bare facts. Garrison believed that African Americans did not have the persuasive or the literary skills to successfully lead the argument against Slavery. Douglass published his narrative to attest to the fact that African Americans did not have to rely entirely on the white men to lead their fight, and that the former slaves could defend themselves in public. Douglass intended to prove that he and other African American abolitionists could be much more than mere orators. 2.Throughout the narrative, Frederick Douglass tells his story as a slave as it was, while reflecting upon certain aspects of his life. Douglass begins his tale by stating the discrepancy in which the slaves were forced to live. For most of his life as a slave, Douglass did not even know his birth date, and was forbidden to ask about it to his master. Most of the slaves on Douglass’s first plantation were not allowed to know much information about them, a strategy devised by the white owner to discourage individualism among the slaves. Another such custom was the separation of slave families, to sever the...
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