Frederick Douglass Ecocriticism

Decent Essays

The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass tells a story of the mistreatment of Fredrick Douglass, an African American slave, by his masters. Douglass’s Narrative provides a view of how slaves were treated by their master. This narrative also tells the reader what it was like to have your right taking away from you. Fredrick Douglass’s narrative also incorporates the ideas of Neema Bagula Jimmy and ecocriticism. Ecocriticism gives us another way of analyzing the text. Douglass’s use of ecocriticism of the Bay convey’s how slavery took away his hope, dehumanized him and provided hope. Fredrick Douglass incorporates the ideas of Neema Bagula Jimmy ecocriticism in his narrative. Ecocriticism describes humans view nature and their relationship with it. On the plantation Douglass often wanted to take his own life, viewing the freedom on the Chesapeake Bay took away his hopes of being a freedman one day. While watching the Bay Douglass saw all the ships sailing away while he was “left in the hottest hell of unending slavery”(Douglass 82). Watching from the other side of freedom tore Douglass’s spirits down because he realizes that it isn't easy becoming a freed slave. He is confined to being a slave and had to endure Mr. Covey’s abuse every day. To Neema Bagula Jimmy, Fredrick Douglass is seen as selfish because he is abusing nature for his selfish needs. Neema Bagula Jimmy describes nature as somewhere “…humans are not—both physically and metaphorically speaking(371)”.

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