Even though the words of his master degrade Douglass, they also inspire him to pursue reading and freedom more passionately. When Douglass sees how intimidated his master, Hugh Auld, is at the idea of his wife, Sophia Auld, teaching young Frederick to read, he realizes that knowledge is truly power. He feels the constraint his master imposed on him his entire life, and he begins to understand how to free himself. Douglass writes that, “From that moment I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom…I was gladdened by the invaluable
According to Abraham Lincoln, “Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man’s nature; opposition to it on his love of justice”. Frederick Douglass published a book on his life that he wrote in 1845, titled “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”. It has been said that he followed in the footsteps of Olaudah Equiano who also written an autobiography known as “Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano in 1789. In the book the “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass”, the author takes his reader with him on his personal life journey to when he was born into slavery all the way until his freedom. The author introduces the beginning the narrative by saying that he is from Tuckahoe, Maryland continues by telling the reader that his mother named Harriet Bailey and was an African-American woman, who also had African American parents who were both colored. However, it has been said that his father was a white man that was also his master. Additionally, Douglass was separated from his mother when he was an infant and he never saw her to really know her as his mother. According to the author, he says he had two master in his lifetime, the first named, Captain Anthony who was a cruel man.
While on one end slave-owners did their best to deprive slaves of education, on the other side, Douglass constantly stresses the importance of slaves acquiring knowledge and education in any way possible. While in Baltimore, Douglass comes to the realization of just how important education is. His master, Mr. Auld, becomes angry with his wife when he discovers she is trying to teach Douglass how to write. This is a life changing moment for Douglass and from then on, he understood that education was linked with freedom. He would go to extremes to educated himself. Douglass would walk the streets of Baltimore with a book, and a piece of bread. He describes how he would meet up with young white boys and trade his loaf of bread for tips on how to read (Douglass
Douglass uses family relationships, starting with his own birth, to gain the compassion of his target audience. He never knew the identity of his father, but it was "whispered" (Douglass, Narrative, 43) that it was his master. Douglass shocked his Northern white readers when he informed them that slaveholders regularly split slave families for no reason. This upset Northerners because their family units were the foundation of their communities. People couldn't believe that slave children were taken
“You are a product of your environment.”- W. Clement. The way you were raised, the people who raised you and the community that you are raised in all play a role in who you are as an individual. Constantly throughout time the way an individual defines themselves is based on their roots, the actions or reactions that have built a foundation of who they’re today. Through the lens of a slave later turned into one of the largest faces of abolitionist acts, Frederick Douglass creates “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” in which he accounts the community he was raised in and the constant fear instilled within his community as well as his later assimilation into new communities and possibly being responsible for creation of a
One of the most well-known slavery narratives was lived and written by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was a civil rights activist who was born into slavery on a plantation in eastern Maryland in February 1818. His exact birth date is unknown, he states in his narrative, “I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it.”2 His birth name was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, which was given by his mother Harriet Bailey, who died when he was about 10 years old. At a young age, Douglass was picked to live in the home of a plantation owner Captain Anthony, whom some believe may have been his father. In his narrative that was published in 1845, sixteen years before the Civil War began, Douglass describes his life as a slave and his aspiration to become a free man. He describes the painful struggle to break free from the physical and mental bondage of slavery. Frederick Douglass resisted slavery by withstanding along with defying his owners. He prepared himself for life as a free man by self-improving himself through the use of education. Douglass’s experience reveals about the difficulties enslaved people would face, when and if they were granted their freedom, was that if they were not educated they were not totally “free.”
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was written in 1845 by Frederick Douglass, an American writer and orator. Douglass’ memoir recounts his time as a slave and his motivation to become a free man. Douglass first realized he was a slave when he sees his master brutalizing his Aunt Hester. He recalls,
The “Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is the story of Frederick Douglass’ life from the time he was born into slavery, to the time he escaped to freedom in the north. When Douglass wrote this book, slavery was still legal in a large portion of the United States. After Douglass’ escape to freedom and his continuation of his education, he became an abolitionist through his works of literature and speeches. In “The Blessings of Slavery”, by George Fitzhugh he states that southern slaves for the most part are the freest and happiest people in the world. He also goes on to say a number of other things that basically establish that slaves live an easy and good life compared to others. Frederick Douglass’ pure story telling in the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” directly goes against any argument for slavery from Fitzhugh, by revealing the harshness of the institution of slavery and the individuals behind it. In each piece of literature both authors also unknowingly touch on topics of early American history such as free labor ideology and paternalism therefore deepening our knowledge of popular understandings during this time period. Douglass refutes Fitzhugh’s pro-slavery argument of the average slave living an ideal life, by disproving early ideas of the free labor system and paternalism through real life encounters of the physical oppression slaves faced on the day to day basis in the forms of inhumane treatment and violence, as well as the true harsh
Under the slave labor system, it was forbidden for people such as Frederick to gain substantial knowledge; however, the wife of Hugh Auld, a slave master, took interest into young Douglass and began coaching him. Unbeknownst to her husband at the time, Sophia started teaching Douglass his alphabet, a skill many slaves did not have. After Hugh found out about Sophia’s prohibited actions, she was immediately required to stop, forcing Douglass to receive his education else where. “Frederick did continue learning – from white children in the neighborhood – and began reading everything he was able to see or get into his possession” (Frederick Douglass Honor Society, 1). When Frederick found out he could no longer receive lessons, he did not let that stop him. He persevered and found ways around his slave master. Douglass was clever when it came to bribing poor white children to help him learn. He traded bread for reading lessons and desired to publically thank them for their help; however, he was afraid they would face serious consequences for helping a slave. Nevertheless, Douglass broke the stereotype of an uneducated slave to receive and
Being a slave was difficult from the beginning. In the case of Fredrick Douglass he was a product of unwanted love. He was born into slavery with no record or “accurate knowledge of "age.”(Douglass) He was the son of Harriet Bailey, who was “…the daughter of Isaac and Betsy Bailey, both colored and quite dark”(Douglass) and a slave of Captain Anthony. He had an unknown father that gave him the “The opinion whispered that my master was my father” who is referred to as his first owner Captain Anthony. Which displays the “Separation by violence from those they loved, sexual abuse appropriation.” (270) Indicates that woman were often being rape and abused by their slaveowners. This includes Fredrick Douglass being separated from his mother and has only seen her “more than four or five” (Douglass) in his entire life. “Struggled for years to keep their children together after emancipations…forced migration and sale.” (270)
Sophia and Hugh Auld become crueler toward him, but Douglass still prefers Baltimore and teaches himself to read with the help of local boys. Douglass becomes more aware of the evils of slavery and of the existence of the abolitionist, or antislavery, movement and resolves to eventually escape to the North.
Exposition – The story begins by Frederick Douglass being born in TalbotCounty, Maryland sometime around 1817 or 1818. He doesn’t know the exact date because slaves are not told their exact date of birth. This was a source of his unhappiness during his child hood. Douglass’s mother is known to be Harriet Bailey; he was separated from his mother while he was very young. Slave owners used this practice to break the natural bond between a mother and son. He recalls few memories about his mother during his childhood. She died while he was seven and was unaffected by her death. Douglass’s master, Captain Anthony, is believed by many to also be his father. Captain Anthony is described as a cruel man, Douglass described the time when he saw his Aunt Hester get whipped by Captain Anthony. That was the first time Douglass realized what slavery really was and he felt some type of way afterwards.
The book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass, is a story about Frederick Douglass’s life as a slave and how he goes on his quest to achieve freedom. Douglass was born into slavery and goes from master to master, and he finally sees the power of education when he reaches Baltimore to work for some new people. Here Douglass begins to learn how to read and write and he uses this to his advantage in hopes of becoming free one day. He manages to teach himself how to read in secret and then helps the other slaves become more literate. Eventually Douglass does manage to escape but he doesn’t stop there, he becomes an activist himself in hopes of ending all slavery one day. Through this book, Douglass reveals that
The narrative demonstrates that Douglass and other slaves’ birth information are not available to them. In addition, when he was about seven years old, his mother dies. Believing that his father is a white man, Douglass explains that many slaveholders rape their female slaves because according to the law, if a child has a colored mother, he/she would be a slave. Therefore, the master benefits from raping due to the number of slaves increasing. From an early age, Douglass observes the fear of slaves towards their masters/mistresses of telling the truth about how they are treated. If the slaves tell the truth, they are punished by their masters
Douglass had a distant relationship with his father and so did Tatiana in her short story “Dear Daddy”. Douglass knows that his father is a white male, though a lot of folks say that his master was his father. Douglass explains that such mixed‑race slaves have a worse lot than other slaves, as the slaveholder’s wife, insulted by their existence, ensures that they either suffer constantly or are sold off. This made it very difficult for him to have a close relationship with his father. “My home was charmless; it was not home to me; on parting from it, I could not feel that I was leaving any thing which I could have enjoyed by staying”. He didn't have a mother nor a proper