A Book Review of Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave

Powerful Essays
Ian Brady
African American Book Review
Biber, Paul
03-11-2014
Book Review
Fredrick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave. (New York: Penguin Group LLC, 1982)

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818, he spent his youth being sold from plantation to city, then all over again. At a point during his youth, he realized that slavery was wrong, and eventually once becoming aware of the north, he planned to one day escape captivity and be free. His determination was strong, so strong that he would one day escape captivity and establish a legacy of work in the North, that made him one of the core members in the fight to abolish slavery in the middle of the 1800’s. He is know historically for his publications and speeches in the fight for abolition, being a convincing and proactive voice which comes from first hand experiences in what life is like for slaves and slave owners. The purpose of publishing the text, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave, was to put into context the details of Douglass’ life, which include his feelings and tribulations, during his journey as a slave and escape to freedom. His conviction to reveal this story, was not hindered or halted by the fact that he would be exposing himself to the public, which often for an escaped slave would be a dangerous situation. The book was first published in 1845 when Douglass was twenty-seven, at this time slavery was legal, and the book that he had just published was incriminating evidence full of names, dates, and times, which make it very easy for someone to find him and return him to captivity by law. The text, details the first 27 years of Fredrick Douglass’ life, however it is only the start to the rest of his life. The message inside the text, is what Douglass would speak loudly about for the rest of his life to come. Slavery, attempts to give increased value to the lives of slave owners, however it does not. While some slave

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