Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Analysis of the Concept of Slavery

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Frederick Douglass Pages: 2 (609 words) Published: April 2, 2006
The "Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass" is a very strong book that analyzes the concept of slavery. The story is told by a slave and lets the reader know first hand what a slave's life was like. It's very interesting to listen to Douglass explain the every day struggle that a slave would have to go through. He points out how slaves had very little belongings and how they were completely disrespected and feared around most communities.

The theme that interests me the most in this novel is the effect that slavery has on everyone. Not only does Douglass explain how slavery is a terrible experience for the slaves but also how slavery has a negative effect on the slave owners. The main way Douglass shows the negative effect on slave owners is by illustrating the life of Sophia Auld. When Douglass first meets Sophia he describes her as "… a woman of the kindest heart and finest feelings." (P. 47-48) Soon after they first meet, Sophia is even willing to teach him the A,B,C,'s and help him learn to spell three to four letter word. However once Sophia's husband, Thomas Auld, comes around Sophia's feelings toward Frederick change 180 degrees. The control that Thomas Auld has on his wife shows the power that slavery has on the entire human population. By illustrating this dramatic change that slavery had on Sophia Auld, Douglass is showing why slavery should be outlawed. This was defiantly the most intruiging theme to me in the book because it's a lesser thought negativity of slavery. Often times when I think about the negative effects of slavery I look at it through the life of the slaves, and kind of overlook the fact that slavery has such a life changing negative effect on the owners as well.

The other key theme of the novel that caught my attention was Douglass' striving to learn how to read and write. Douglass talks about how we quickly realized that he needed to learn to read and write. This is presumably to devise a plan to escape slavery....
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