A Brief Look at Frederick Douglass

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I believe Douglass wrote this narrative mainly to the white people of that time. He wanted them- slave owners and abolitionists alike- to realize the process that slavery entailed. He made a point that slavery is not only a process for the slaves themselves, but also the masters. He uses Sophia Auld to make this point. She is at first an innocent caring woman, but slavery turns her into a ‘devil.’ Slavery is a not just a reality, but also a conception that causes Sophia’s psyche to be transformed into cruel unrecognizable person. She gains power from slavery and develops meanness from her power. For the slave, slavery is not merely physical bondage but ideally psychological bondage. Douglass realizes this when he becomes literate. Upon literacy a divide occurs between his mind and his body. He finds his mind free, but body in bondage. This was a great struggle for Douglass, and at some points wishes he never was literate, but knew that without literacy that gateway to freedom never would have been opened. Douglass wrote his narrative in the in which he did, to show all the reality of slavery. At that time, people knew it existed and knew it was wrong, but could not fathom the extent of its horrors, and Douglass’ narrative offers them a picture of the real circumstances of slavery. I also believe that there was a large intent by Douglass to publish his narrative to promote the abolition of slavery. By giving people the chance to see what slavery actually entails, it opens

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