Frederick Douglass's Slave Narrative Authenticity Essay

Topics: William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionism, Frederick Douglass Pages: 2 (647 words) Published: October 21, 2012

Storytelling has always been prominent among the human race ever since the oral tradition was established and the first written language came to be. It is not uncommon for a person to share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts through literature. The validity of these accounts often are not questioned. In 1845, Frederick Douglass published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Through writing and word of mouth, Douglass achieved international fame. Despite all of this, the validity of the slave narrative genre has come into question. Skeptics and naysayers claim that this genre of writing is fantasized, and use Olaudah Equiano’s narrative as a prime example. Although The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano has questionable history validity; Douglass’ writings have been affirmed by William Lloyd Garrison, a prominent American abolitionist, in the preface. It has also been published and categorized as an autobiography. Accordingly, it is established that Douglass’ writing is non-fiction, therefore, it must be authentic. Being that the narrative was prefaced by William Lloyd Garrison, an exceptionally outspoken anti-slavery advocate, and author of William Lloyd Garrison and the Fight against Slavery, it would be almost impossible to claim that Frederick Douglass’ claims were falsified. Garrison indited, “I am confident that is it essentially true in all its statements; that nothing has been set down in malice, nothing exaggerated, nothing drawn from imagination; that it comes short of the reality, rather than overstates a single fact in regard to SLAVERY AS IT IS” which conveys that he had complete and total trust towards Douglass (Which is a good display of character on Douglass’ behalf). Therefore, William Lloyd Garrison’s regard for Frederick Douglass does nothing but further prove the believability of Douglass’ auto-biography. The authenticity of Narrative of the Life of Frederick...
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