Essay about Narrative of Life of Frederick Douglass

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Published in 1845, ‘Narrative of life of Frederick Douglass an American slave written by himself’ is still the most highly acclaimed American autobiography ever written. It was published seven years after Douglass escaped from his life as a slave in Maryland. It describes his experience of being slave and his psychological insights into the slave-master relationship. The main focus is on ‘How he learn to read and write ‘and ‘the pain of slavery.’ The goal of this paper is to bring more insight analysis of his narrative life through the most famous two chapter’s in which he defines, “How he learn to read and write” and “The pain of slavery.” To achieve this goal, the paper is organized into four main sections. First, author background and…show more content…
Douglass’s Narrative displays how white slaveholders continue slavery by keeping their slaves uninformed. At the time Douglass was writing, many people thought that slavery was a normal state of being. They believed that blacks were naturally incapable of participating in civil society and thus should be kept as labors for whites. The Narrative explains the tactics and measures by which whites gain and keep power over blacks from their birth onward. Slave owners keep slaves uninformed of basic facts about themselves, such as their birth date or their parents. This enforced ignorance deprives children of their natural sense of distinct identity. As slave children grow up, slave owners prevent them from learning to read and write, as learning would give them a sense of self-sufficiency and capability. Slave-masters understand that knowledge would lead slaves to question the right of whites to keep slaves. Lastly, by keeping slaves illiterate, Southern slave-masters maintain control over what the rest of America knows about slavery. If slaves cannot write, their picture of the slavery story cannot be told. Wendell Phillips states this point in his prefatory letter to the Narrative. Just as slave masters keep people as slaves by depriving them of knowledge and education, slaves need to seek knowledge and education in order to track freedom. It is from Hugh Auld that Douglass learns this idea that knowledge should be the way to
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