The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Abolitionism Pages: 4 (1527 words) Published: June 25, 2013
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission”-----Eleanor Roosevelt.

During the eighteenth century African people were considered “property” of their slaveholders and had no control over their own life. They were victims of psychological and physical brutal treatment. This story represents confinement, slavery and the lack of power African people had in such a racist society back in those days. African talents were absolutely wasted and they were considered inferior to white individuals. The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” simply addresses that white society was causing negative effects to itself and that slavery must be abolished in order to shape a better world.

The depicted brutality narrated in Frederick Douglass’s autobiography starts when Douglass states that his former overseer, Mr. Plummer, “cuts and slashes the women’s heads so horribly, that even master would be enraged at his cruelty, and would threaten to whip him if he did not mind himself.” Accordingly, the author wants to convey to the public in general about how inhumanly African slaves were treated in the eighteenth century when he was a slave. He definitely tries to communicate this to the people by narrating it step by step with very detailed descriptions of the barbarian that happened back then. He uses a very unique writing style that keeps the reader engaged by using the method of suspense. There is no doubt that he makes readers reflect on the brutality that was going on and unfortunately permitted by the United States of America’s government. Farther out, there is a position not clearly stated by the author on his escape to the North where he never gives details of it. The hypothesis that could be derived from this is that he did not want to put slaves’ lives at risk by their masters learning the tricks and plans from slaves how to escape. Nevertheless, how would the other slaves learn their way out of slavery if probably the only educated African...

Cited: Douglas, Frederick. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas.” New York: Dover Publications inc., 1995
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