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Narrative of Frederick Douglass Slavery Essay

… Without family connections, they would at least receive similar treatments in other households, whereas in the family household, the wife's negative feelings caused harsher treatment. Ironically, the personal, human feelings involved in these adulterous relationships and the resulting children caused further inhumanity and cruelty among slave owners.

In his account of the various slave owners to which he belonged during his short life, Douglass also recounts that slave ownership has a corrupting influence even on those who were kind-hearted by nature. He mentions in this regard the wife of Mr. Auld, a slave owner who brought him away from the plantations to work in the city. He mentions the "fatal poison of irresponsible power" that caused her to change from a kind to harsh disposition…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass the Narrative Term Paper

… Frederick Douglass

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself appeared in May 1845. William Lloyd Garrison wrote the preface; Wendell Phillips wrote an introductory letter. Douglass's stark rendering of his torturous slave experiences, however, was the smash. By 1848, eleven thousand copies had been published in the United States; French and German translations had appeared; and in England, it had already experienced nine editions. Ecstatic praise for Douglass's eloquent and touching narrative was widespread. "The book, as a whole, judged as a mere work of art, would widen the fame of Bunyan or Defoe," wrote the Lynn Pioneer reviewer. This reviewer added: "It is the most thrilling work which the American press has ever issued -- and the…. [read more]

Frederick Douglas and Push by Sapphire Essay

… Frederick Douglass and Precious Jones are two larger than life figures, who show the world what it takes to become a human being when all the odds are against it. They stand for what education means in this world: everything. Unlike most of us, they had to overcome countless obstacles to learn something as basic as what others take for granted: the ABCs.

The two characters, one who wrote his own story, a real story, Frederick Douglass, and one who comes from fiction, Precious, embody the triumph of will and persistence against what most would consider obstacles that are impossible overcome. In their case, the will to get out of the darkness of illiteracy is stronger than any other reason to live.

Frederick Bailey, who…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Was Born Term Paper

… I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds." (142)

Another method of coping for slaves was through religion. The slaves practiced Christianity, as they were told to do by their masters, but also kept their distinctive faith alive in intimate communication between friends and within families, as well as in larger secret meetings. White preachers would say that God permitted or even ordained slavery, but black slaves refused to give up the idea that God willed their freedom. The slaves used religion as an outlet for hope, singing, preaching, and praying for their liberation.

Frederick makes an important point that slaves lost more of their…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass and Life of a Slave Girl Essay

… Frederick Douglass


In his July 4, 1852 oration at Rochester, New York, ex-slave Frederick Douglass, seen by some as "The noblest slave that God ever set free," declared to his rapt audience that the 4th of July, at least in the eyes of African-Americans, "is a day that reveals to all black men and women the gross injustice and cruelty to which we are the constant victim. To us, your celebration is a sham... all of your religious parade and a fraud, a deception... And a hypocrisy, a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace even a nation of savages... " (Du Bois, 14).

Clearly in this speech, Frederick Douglass vividly points…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Thesis

… Frederick Douglass is one of the most significant individuals in the abolitionist movement because he came from the most humble of backgrounds and made a difference. Douglass was born a slave in 1818 and became an inspiration for thousands of African-American slave prior to the Civil War. He is the epitome of determination because he did not allow his burdens to weight him down. Instead, he learned to overcome the obstacles that stood in his way. He learned how to read and he learned how to stand up for himself. As he made his way north, he became a voice that would move others to action. Douglass' life demonstrates how all of us have a voice and we should speak out against those things that…. [read more]

Douglass, King and Legal Justice Nearly 100 Essay

… Douglass, King and Legal Justice

Nearly 100 years separated the abolitionist writings of Frederick Douglass from the desegregationist writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. However, the themes the permeate some of their most prominent works are nearly identical. The purpose of this discussion is to demonstrate that theme of resisting unjust laws explicitly stated in King's 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail is more implicitly recognized a century prior in Franklin Douglass' 1845 Narrative of the Life of Franklin Douglass: An American Slave. Both take a highly dignified and articulated approach to deconstructing the irrational nature of the greatest of indignities; the deprivation of a man's freedom.


From the perspective of a freedman writing on his experiences as a slave, Douglass outlines the horrifying…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass: Man With a Mission Thesis

… Frederick Douglass: Man with a Mission

While Frederick Douglass is most well-known for his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he is much more valuable to American history because he was much more than a writer. Douglass became one of the most significant names associated with the abolitionist movement that helped move slaves toward freedom. Born a slave in 1818, Douglass refused to live the life that others deemed fit for him. He did not lose his instinctive notion that all men were equal despite the color of their skin. He did not give up even though he faced terrible adversity at times. Instead, he decided to move in a direction that at least held the promise of freedom. Frederick's narrative is certainly significant…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Research Proposal

… Frederick Douglass was one of the most prominent figures of American civil rights struggle. He was born into slavery around 1818. He escaped from slavery in 1838, in his early thirties. Apart from his influential career as a writer, Douglass - who had no formal education or training - became a diplomat, a counselor to four presidents, and a respected orator. He advocated racial equality, and his influence is present in the works of political activists and African-American writers who followed. However, his inspiration was not restricted to African-Americans. Douglass's "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" which tackles issues such as oppression, the struggle for freedom, as well as the search for identity, has resonated with all people regardless of their…. [read more]

Narrative Book Report

… " This is one of the main reasons whites needed to keep their slaves ignorant about the rest of the world. For instance, when his master gives Douglass six cents of the six dollars he earned the previous week to incentivise him, it has the opposite effect for this very reason. In this regard, Douglass writes in chapter 11, "I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole. The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them." In a country forged of revolution just a few decades previously based on the fundamental premise that "all men are created equal," the institution of slavery…. [read more]

Douglass Garrison Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Research Proposal

… Douglass Garrison

Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and Abolition

The economic, social and ideological underpinnings of the American southland during the nation's formative decades were provided by the myriad assumptions which enabled the 'peculiar institution' of slavery. A functionality and permissiveness to the system that predisposed the nation's transplanted African population to servitude and obsequiousness was based not simply on the brutal enforcement of labor and inferiority, but even more fundamentally on the fostering of a sophisticated psychological conditioning centered on a drastic deviation from natural conceptions of that which defines a man and his inherent humanity. To create a reality in which the ownership of one many by another many could serve to promote a relative harmony for white dominance, it was incumbent upon…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth Term Paper

… Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass

Sojourner Truth is best known perhaps as one of the key organizers of the Underground Railroad, part of the Abolitionist movement, but she also was an important part of the Union Army's food preparation for soldier units in the Civil War, and she holds a prominent place in the history of the women's rights movement,. On the day in which she made her speech, at a Women's Rights Convention in Ohio in 1851, about ten years before the Civil War, there were those in the audience who would rather she not speak, because she was so strongly identified with the movement to free the slaves and the fear was she would water down the theme…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass: An Exceptional Escape Term Paper

… Douglass' stress upon this issue, the effects of slavery upon the life of whites, also brings up another important aspect of the contradictions inherent in Douglass' life and profession as an abolitionist and narrator of his life -- he was always an ex-slave and a Black man speaking to a largely white audience. He had to tailor his experience, the specifically Black enslavement experience, for an audience unfamiliar with the South and the South's peculiar institution. Most of his audience, in other words, were white, usually Northern, progressive whites -- and, when he later lectured abroad, whites who were unfamiliar even with the American experience and system of Northern or Southern values. Thus, many members of his audience from both a literary and an auditory…. [read more]

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay

… Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Perversion of Christianity by American Slave-Holding Masters -- as Told by Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Slavery remains to be one of the most shameful periods of American history. It was a cruel institution that deprived millions of human beings of dignity, human rights, and freedom for three hundred years. It was also an institution that corrupted those practicing it. To justify their practice of human bondage, American slaveholders resorted to moral and religious hypocrisy. They began to interpret the Bible as it fitted their needs, perverting the meaning of Christianity to justify slavery. Frederick Douglass, a slave who escaped the cruel bondage and became an eloquent abolitionist, exposed this religious hypocrisy of slaveholders in his autobiography. Douglass…. [read more]

Narrative Contrast of the Male Term Paper

… In his narrative, Douglass constantly addresses the reader as if the reader is in the room with him, as if using his life's incidents as documentary evidence against the institution of slavery.

Jacob's style is both more personal in that she tells, rather than talks to the reader, but also places less stress upon education. Perhaps this reflects a covert agenda -- because Jacobs was female, her enforced ignorance would not have arisen the same sense of horror in her reader's hearts, nor would an argumentative style been as effective in raising their ire. Rather, it is the rape and subjugation of the female body rather than the male mind that becomes the focus of her narrative. No physical respite from the terrors suffered by…. [read more]

Frederick Douglas Narrative Term Paper

… And, to escape to the North, Frederick had to leave behind his friends and his wife who he was not sure if he would ever see again.

Slave owners thought they could best control their slaves by taking measures to keep them ignorant. But, Frederick was taught to read by his mistress, Sophia Auld, at the Auld Home in Baltimore. Although Sophia was delighted with Frederick's abilities, her husband became furious because he felt that if a slave could read and write, the slave would no longer obey his master without question or thought and could forge papers that would give the slave freedom.

Hugh instructed Sophia to discontinue the reading lessons. Realizing that reading was a key to gaining freedom, Douglass would continue his…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass' "Narrative Term Paper

… Sophia Auld provides Douglass with his first bit of knowledge, and with the foundation, he builds his learning upon it. Sophia, however, illustrates the effects that slavery has on the slave owner. White Americans without slaves sometimes had pity for the slaves, but never understood how slave holding, and the power that is entailed, would turn someone sweet-natured, and God-fearing into what Sophia Auld transforms into - a mean, power-hungry, bitter woman. Douglass not only wrote his narrative to expose the cruelty that slaves are subjected to, but to also let Americans bear witness to the negative effects that slavery caused on the slave holders as well. Slave owners were usually Christians, and used their corrupt interpretations to justify their cause - Douglass hopes to…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass and Thomas Paine Term Paper

… Paine further states that "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise" (Paine).

Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave was published in 1845, roughly seventy years after the birth of the United States. In this work, Douglass describes his birth into slavery and his ultimate escape to freedom. It would be some sixteen years before the nation would be involved in yet another war, however this time the enemy was not across the ocean, but instead were the American citizens themselves.

Douglass begins by relating the fact that he never really knew his mother having seen her no "more than four or five times"…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Was an Important Figure Essay

… Frederick Douglass was an important figure of the 18th century American scene, from several points-of-view. On the one hand, his life experience as a slave in 18th century America has been important because of the complete evidence of the limits of endurance of the human kind. On the other hand, his writing skills and his success in this sense have been a lesson learned and a means of accounting some of the realities that affected the period.

One of the most important works of Frederick Douglass is "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" in which he vividly presents the story of the traditional slave, that could have been any slave of the 18th century America. Of utmost importance, chapters X and XI are evidence…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Inequality of Circumstances: The Experiences Term Paper

… Frederick Douglass

Inequality of Circumstances: The experiences of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth

The experiences of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth force Americans to rethink the idea that all people are created equal. This statement seems to imply that everyone who is a human being begins with the same basic tools of self-improvement. The idea that everybody has the ability to succeed, so long as they work hard, is one of the cherished ideals of America. America is supposed to be a perfect meritocracy, where all people are created equal. However, the experiences of these Black individuals highlight how equality is not based simply in personal merit or the state of being human. Equality depends upon access to social and economic opportunities. In their early…. [read more]

Frederick Douglas Theories Differ on How People Term Paper

… Frederick Douglas

Theories differ on how people learn to read and write. The connection between reading and writing is one of the most debated topics in literary circles. However, the debate over this topic pales to the debate over the relationship between culture and literacy. Major theorists are divided into two groups of thought on this topic. The first argues that literacy is necessary for the advancement of culture and society. The other argues that literacy is independent of society and that they have little influence on each other.

By examining the writings of Frederick Douglas, a slave who learned to read and write, one can examine the connection between literacy and culture. Those that are literate serve as interpreters for those that are not…. [read more]

Equiano Slave Narratives Term Paper

… For example, in Chapter IX of the narrative, Equiano encounters some Mosquito Indian chiefs. The author notices that they "were brought here by some English traders for some selfish ends." Equiano also sees that slavery is practiced in different ways in different places, and that some types of slavery are particularly cruel. For example, the slavery he experienced in Virginia involved methods that he had not before encountered; what he witnesses in the West Indies such as Jamaica was also disturbing. However, in the West Indies, Equiano learns a little more about farming and from the Mosquito Indians he learns how to make a potent alcoholic beverage made from roasted pineapples. Equiano also witnesses the various ways creative entrepreneurs make their money, which influences him…. [read more]

Frederick Douglas' Book "The Narrative Essay

… Frederick Douglas' book "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" succeeds in providing readers with a thorough first-hand account regarding the institution of slavery and the concept of racial discrimination in the nineteenth century. The manuscript puts across a series of themes, most of them related to how prejudice, education, and city life can influence an individual in wanting to fight bondage. Most readers are likely to observe that discrimination is a topic that Douglas deals with throughout the book.

One of the first factors indicating that slaves were not equivalent to slave-owners is Douglas' incapability of telling the others his exact age. "I have no accurate knowledge of my age […] I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could…. [read more]

Narrative of the Life of an American Term Paper

… Narrative of the Life of an American Slave: The Use of Animal Metaphors, Images, And Comparisons by Its Author

Today, we live in a world where we usually encounter animals as pets or as cellophane wrapped packages in the meat department -- seldom as beasts of burden or creatures that we make an economic profit from, unless we are farmers. But in the 19th century of the rural agrarian South, animals were necessary to the livelihood of plantation owners, making work less onerous and providing a potential for profit in trade. Alas, the human personages of slaves provided similar respite from physical labor and similar sources of profits.

This is why, over the course of Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, the author,…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass -1895) Term Paper

… " A supplemental publication entitled "Douglass' Monthly" followed. Douglass published these newspapers in his new home state of New York from December 1847 through May 1863. His fame only grew, not only as an orator, but now as a talented journalist. (Encarta)

After helping recruit African-American soldiers during the Civil War, Douglass returned to his fight for freedom and equal rights to all Americans. During the postwar rebuilding of a new America, Douglass fought for suffrage (voting rights regarding legislation and public officials) and spoke out for coming to the aid of former slaves. He worked tirelessly for the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, which completely rid America of slavery, gave American citizenship to everyone born in America and prevented racial discrimination…. [read more]

American Life Term Paper

… This quote also presents another key difference in regards to style and content with the two works. Where Ellen layers and complicates, Douglass tries to simplify and explain. His whole narrative is a means of analysis of slave life and white's treatment of slaves. They in essence, are the opposite in terms of writing style and prove that through their aims and themes.

Both Ellen Foster and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave deal with racial inequality and racial tension. In chapter 4 of Ellen Foster, aunt Nadine describes her disdain for the colored town as she passes it in the train: "My aunt is so glad to be out of a colored town. She unlocks her door now because she…. [read more]

Autobiographical Work Narrative Book Report

… Those who looked with disdain at his cruelty to slaves would do so silently for fear of reprisals.

With all that has been said, it would be easy to assume that Frederick Douglass saw all Christians as hypocrites who spoke one thing and then practiced another. This is not the case. After Douglass became educated himself and was able to read scripture, he came to understand the difference between the religiosity of these masters and of his own beliefs. "What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the 'slaveholding religion' of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of the land, and Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference --…. [read more]

Black Slaves Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas Term Paper

… Slavery Narratives

Basing their arguments on personal testimony, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass both argue against the institution of slavery. Both Jacobs' "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and Douglass' "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" contain graphic imagery. On a purely emotional level, the two slave narratives offer poignant proof that slavery is an unjustifiable social institution. However, Jacobs and Douglass also rely on logic in their respective arguments. Their rhetoric is clear, pointing out flaws in the apologists' arguments. For example, both authors devote part of their narratives to exposing the hypocrisy of Christianity for condoning and sometimes championing slavery. Their appeal for a consistent religious ethic is the core strength of both Jacobs' and Douglass' narratives. Both authors also…. [read more]

Narrative Term Paper

… Slavery did not mesh with the ideals of the Enduring Vision, but many people simply ignored that fact and stood behind the practice, anyway.

This narrative also points out another issue that was extremely important during this time in American history. Some people simply refused to believe the stories of cruelty and injustice toward Southern slaves. Douglass notes, "I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake" (Douglass 9). Many people were ambivalent toward slavery, and simply hoped to sweep the whole matter "under the rug" to cover it up. They convinced themselves the slaves…. [read more]

Douglas Few Slave Narratives Are as Compelling Research Paper

… Douglas

Few slave narratives are as compelling as that of Frederick Douglass, because of the rich detail used to convey the author's experiences. However, the narrative is effective on more levels than just its graphic imagery. In his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass draws clear arguments about logical inconsistencies in the pro-slavery argument. Douglass also presents a clear ethical argument that shows why slavery should be abolished. The core philosophical objections that Douglass uses in his narrative center around the core idea that slavery is dehumanizing. Douglass even implies that slavery dehumanizes all members of the society that support the practice, and not just the slaves.

Modern readers might find Douglass's narrative a matter of common sense, but when…. [read more]

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