Themes In 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass'

1372 Words Oct 28th, 2013 6 Pages
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 …show more content…
He writes, “The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers… I finally succeeded in learning to read” (149). Douglass knew that the little boys wouldn’t judge him just because he was a different race and he used that to his advantage. He made friends with all of the little white boys nearby who could read and write well, and through them he taught himself how to become more literate too. Making friends showed Douglass that there might be some good people out there who’ll give him a chance and by making those friendships he was able to accomplish a lot of his goals and become a more successful person. An additional point which Douglass proves to be true is that slavery can really hurt a slave’s mind mentally. I don’t think the slave owners realized how much it could hurt the slaves when they mistreated them, and in return it really did some damaging things to their heads. They began to believe everything their masters said about them, which were in fact false. During the holidays, the masters give their slaves quite a bit of alcohol and get them pretty drunk. The slave owners trick them into thinking they’re getting more freedom and then when the holidays are up they go back to treating them poorly. Douglass writes, “I have said that this mode of treatment is
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