African and African American according to Achebe and Douglass
Throughout the years, the image of the African American culture has been portrayed in in a negative light. Many people look to African, and African American literature to gain knowledge about the African American culture. The true culture and image often goes unseen, or is tarnished because writers who have no true insight or experience, have proceeded to write about things in which they are uneducated.. For years the world has seen writers attempt to taint and damage the image of the African American. Through strength and determination, several African American writers have been able to portray the true image and struggle of the Negro through various writings …show more content…
He beat her again when she referred to him as one of those "guns that never shot."(Achebe 89).
On the other hand, The Narrative of Fredrick Douglass shows the different attributes of slavery and the effects they have on Africans and African Americans. The narrative shows how ignorance is used as a tool of slavery. Douglas’s Narrative shows how white slaveholders enable slavery by keeping their slaves ignorant. At the time Douglass was writing, many people believed that slavery was a natural state of being. They believed that blacks were inherently unable of participating in civil society and thus should be kept as workers for whites.
Moreover,. The Narrative displays the use of knowledge as a tool for freedom. Just as slave owners keep men and women as slaves by depriving them of knowledge and education, slaves must seek knowledge and education in order to pursue freedom. It is from Hugh Auld that Douglass learns this notion that knowledge must be the way to freedom, as Auld forbids his wife to teach Douglass how to read and write because education ruins slaves (Davis 65). Douglass sees that Auld has unwittingly revealed the strategy by which whites manage to keep blacks as slaves and by which blacks might free themselves. Douglass presents his own self-education as the primary means by which he is able to free himself, and as his greatest tool to work for the freedom of all slaves.
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Picture this going through life without the ability to read or write. Without these abilities, it is impossible for a person to be a functioning member of society. In addition, imagine that someone is purposely limiting your knowledge to keep a leash on your independence. Not only is an American slave raised without skills in literacy, he cannot be taught to read unless someone breaks the law. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the reader is given a detailed explanation of why slave masters keep their slaves ignorant and the effects such a strategy has on the slaves’ lives. In his autobiography, Douglass describes how the knowledge he obtains has substantial positive and negative effects on his psyche. He is given renewed passion and hope for freedom while struggling with the burden of enlightenment of his situation. Ultimately, however, education shapes his fate, and he achieves freedom and prominence as an advocate for abolition.
Douglass had the unusual privilege of receiving the beginnings of an education from the wife of one of his masters, Mrs. Auld. Her lessons were cut short when she was discovered by her husband who, "forbade her. . . telling her it was unsafe to teach a slave to read . . . because he would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master". From this experience, Douglass learned that education was his "pathway from slavery to freedom". In essence, the act of keeping the black man ignorant was "the white man's power to enslave the black man"(Douglass 1776).
Slavery is a humongous topic involving both slaves and former slaves. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Story is one such story. Douglass suffered punishments, and watching others get punished, he uses those experiences to make his argument against slavery.Douglass’ tone in the narrative is sarcastic and dark. Frederick Douglass successfully uses vast quantities of rhetorical devices, illuminating the horror and viciousness of slavery, including the need to eliminate it.
It is at this time that Frederick Douglass learns one of the greatest freedoms of all. He is set free, in an educational sense. Douglass has been taught a few reading lessons form his mistress. Soon after his master discovers this, and commences the teaching at once. Soon thereafter, Frederick Douglass uses some smart tactics to resume his learning. He in a sense manipulates the children around him into teaching him how to read and write. This grand achievement taught Douglass something, as he says, “From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom. It was just what I wanted, and
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass details the oppression Fredrick Douglass went through before his escape to freedom. In his narratives, Douglass offers the readers with fast hand information of the pain, brutality, and humiliation of the slaves. He points out the cruelty of this institution on both the perpetrator, and the victims. As a slave, Fredrick Douglass witnessed the brutalization of the blacks whose only crime was to be born of the wrong color. He narrates of the pain, suffering the slaves went through, and how he fought for his freedom through attaining education.
The “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is an autobiography in which Frederick Douglass reflects on his life as a slave in America. He writes this book as a free slave, in the North, while slavery was still running its course before the Civil War. Through his effective use of rhetorical strategies, Frederick Douglass argues against the institution of slavery by appealing to pathos and ethos, introducing multiple anecdotes, using satirical irony, and explaining the persuasive effects of slavery and reasoning behind keeping slaves uneducated.
Douglass was motivated to learn how to read by hearing his master condemn the education of slaves. Mr. Auld declared that an education would “spoil” him and “forever unfit him to be a slave” (2054). He believed that the ability to read makes a slave “unmanageable” and “discontented” (2054). Douglass discovered that the “white man’s power to enslave the black man” (2054) was in his literacy and education. As long as the
Initially, Sophia Auld ordained to teach Douglass the very basics of literacy – his ABCs and how to spell a few short words (Douglass 45) – but not long after, Hugh Auld, enraged, puts a stop to his progress. Auld claims that were Douglass to learn to how to read “there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave” (Douglass 45), and his lessons cease promptly; however, the seed of doubt for his master’s power is already planted. Though hardly more than a child, Douglass reaches the conclusion that with literacy comes agency, and subsequently, the ability to gain freedom – something his master feared most vehemently (Douglass 45). The white man’s ability to keep his slaves in the dark about the truths of scripture and rhetoric were the crux of his power, and equipped with new found knowledge of this apparent flaw in the system of slavery, Douglass grows determined to learn how to read by any means available. He resolves to befriend any and all young white boys he encounters on the streets and, in exchange for a bit of bread, asks them to help him on his way to literacy, and through this act of defiance, by the end of his seven years with the Aulds, he is entirely literate (Douglass 50). This emphasis on gaining the ability to read and write is a common theme in male
Throughout our lives, we undergo many changes and we also see many changes in other people. Our world today has been influenced immensely by the world of the past. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick undergoes many changes in his life and the lives of the people around him especially the slaveholders that he served. Throughout the narrative, we as the reader see that slavery was a terrible thing and that it affected the slaves in horrific ways but not just the slaves were affected, the slaveholders were also affected in horrible ways.
In convincing people to be aware of the rights of slaves, Douglass wrote a slave narrative to argue people should be equally treated even a slave. In his novel, he effectively uses pathos, ethos as persuasiveness to make claims more powerful and logos to make people easily accept. His primary audiences should be guilty and shameful after read his Slave Narrative.
Since slaves were not allowed schooling, illiteracy was very common for African Americans slaves. For many people not accustomed to slavery, it was believed that slavery was simply a state of natural being. People believed African Americans were inherently incapable of residing in their society and consequently should live as laborers for white slave owners. Enforcing illiteracy among children deprived them of their necessary morality and ethics. Southern slave owners used this to their advantage control how the remainder of the country viewed slavery. If slaves were illiterate, they were incapable of telling their side of slavery. Douglass is saying that knowledge is key to winning against slavery. His quote, “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man” (Douglass) describes his transformation as a slave with little knowledge and education to a man who has become very knowledgeable and educated to beat slavery. Douglass uses knowledge as the road to his freedom. He seeks knowledge and education to help slaves voice the wrong doings slaveholders are bringing upon blacks. Douglass helps slaves discover their selves not as slaves but as men instead.
Douglass Freedom Having learned how to read and write, Frederick Douglass changed himself from a man slave into a widely respected writer. This freedom was set forth by his luck in receiving a mistress, Mrs. Auld, who would begin Douglass revelation of learning how to read and write. Reaching adulthood and speaking in English fluently, Douglass perception of freedom changed. As a child, he could not really explain all of what he experienced and how he felt about himself, as a slave. But as he matured and developed his writing and reading skills, the quality of his thoughts, and the level of understanding had transformed his ideas of freedom. Since birth, Frederick was immediately exposed to the harsh realities of slavery, which included of knowing what his self-identity, which was a slave. Freedom was mentally shaped for slaves, as to prepare them for their long years of hard laborious service
The purpose behind Fredrick Douglass’s Narrative was to appeal to the other abolitionists who he wanted to convince that slave owners were wrong for their treatment of other human beings. His goal was to appeal to the middle-class people of that time and persuade them to get on board with the abolitionist movement. Douglass had a great writing style that was descriptive as well as convincing. He stayed away from the horrific details of the time, which helped him grasp the attention of the women who in turn would convince their husbands to help by donating money and eventually ending slavery. He used his words effectively in convincing the readers that the slave owners were inhuman and showed how they had no feelings for other human
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is an account of Frederick Douglass’ life written in a very detached and objective tone. You might find this tone normal for a historical account of the events of someone’s life if not for the fact that the narrative was written by Frederick Douglass himself. In light of the fact that Douglass wrote his autobiography as a treatise in support of the abolishment of slavery, the removed tone was an effective tone. It gave force to his argument that slavery should be done away with.
Amongst the injustice and brutality of slavery is the exclusion of education and knowledge. The slaveholder would tactically deprive the slaves of any knowledge because it would expose them of slavery’s injustice. This act dehumanized the slaves to a great extent, and at the same time forbade them to pursue any form of freedom, physically or spiritually. Hugh Auld, Douglass’s master reasoned that “it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read” and believed “If you have a nigger an inch, he will take an ell.” (Douglass 40, 41) Auld advocated his reasoning by calling a slave “unmanageable,” “unhappy,” and “discontented” if enlightened. Douglass however understood differently. The withdrawal of literacy and knowledge, he believed, was one of the greater factors keeping blacks inferior to whites in society. The Narrative also documents the many physiological effects of slaveholding. Douglass carefully explains the masters whipping their slaves when they least deserve it, and overlooking their deeds when they most deserve it. The killing of a slave is also considered the least of an offense or crime, and is simply gone