True Freedom; Peace of Mind

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 2 (842 words) Published: November 26, 2012
True Freedom: Peace of Mind

In A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Frederick Douglass sees true freedom as more than being a free man. Just because you are not owned by someone does not mean you are free; just because you are owned by someone does not mean you are enslaved. Douglass states, “I endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman. I found it a hard bargain. But, hard as it was, I thought it better than the old mode of getting along. It was a step towards freedom to be allowed to bear the responsibilities of a freeman, and I was determined to hold upon it” (221). Douglass is referencing the time in his life that he was working for Master Hugh shortly before his escape into a free state. To Douglass slavery was not being owned by someone; freedom was not being able to work for your own wages; nor was freedom given to you by your master. Freedom is crafted by ones own willpower and inner self.

Though Douglass is still a slave he is able to make his own living by hiring himself to Master Hugh. Even though he is still enslaved to Hugh Douglass has his own freedoms in the form of being able to do the work as he pleases as long as he makes enough to pay his master every week. He is on the line of being free and being a slave at the same time. Douglass exemplifies his freedom of working on his own accord by saying, “I was ready to work at night as well as day, and by the most untiring perseverance and industry, I made enough to meet my expenses, and lay up a little money every week” (221). This is not the true freedom that Douglass wishes but it is a degree of freedom that must not be overlooked easily. The little freedom he is allocated allows him to make enough money to escape from his enslavement.

Generating ones own profit and working to live has its own freedoms, but it is not truly being free. Douglass claims, “Rain or shine, work or no...
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