February 1, Celebrating Frederick Douglass There is scarcely a finer example of the power of education than Frederick Douglass. Born Frederick Bailey in Maryland in FebruaryFrederick Douglass was the son of an enslaved woman and an unknown white father. His early life was spent on a plantation. However, when Douglass was eight years old, he was sent to Baltimore to work for the family of Hugh and Sophia Auld.
Frederick Douglass gives a summary of how he, like many other slave children, has no idea when his birthday is but as far he can guess it must have been around He was separated from his mother right after he was born which he imagines was because they did not want the bonds of family to develop naturally between families but recalls how sometimes she would walk at night from a neighboring plantation to sleep with him.
Frederick Douglass then gives the reader a brutal short summary of that the rape of female slaves by their white masters actually benefits slavery because by law the products of the rape become slaves themselves.
After briefly discussing his childhood, Douglass goes on to discuss his first master, Captain Anthony and the overseer of his plantation, Mr. He gives a short summary of the way the drunken cruel Mr. Plummer repeatedly whipped his Aunt Hester until the blood streamed down her back simply because she was beautiful and he may have had an interest in her.
The reader is left to figure out the psychology behind such an awful act while Douglass explains that he was afraid of the idea of being whipped that he often hid. He wistfully remembers the songs they used to sing that once sounded happy but now he realizes were very mournful and belied great pain and suffering.
The plantation, which now belongs to Colonel Lloyd, is described as being so big that many slaves never even saw their master and vice versa. Frederick Douglass summarizes the details of an instance in which a slave was heading down a road and encountered his master without knowing who he was.
When the unknown Lloyd asked the slave how he was treated and the slave responded that he was ill-treated, he was made an example of by being chained up and sold to a slave trader—one of the worst punishments.
Lloyd enacted certain measures to keep his slaves in line, including whipping slaves who stole fruit from his prize garden and beating slaves for apparently no reason.
Because of instances like these, slaves always tried to appear happy and although it gave a false impression to whites especially those from the North it was really the only way a slave could protect himself. A new overseer named Mr. Gore takes over at the Great House Farm.
He is even more cruel than his predecessor and is absolutely heartless in his treatment of his charges. Douglass relates with some sadness that just as in other cases when slaves have been murdered, there were no charges made and he was able to go free.
You will notice that Douglass often interrupts his own story to tell tales of other slaves. Keeping in mind that this narrative was meant for Northern white readers, it is important to consider what function these side stories serve. They work to tell the whole tale of slavery or at least they try to by showing the extent to which the cruelty was manifest.
Getting back to his own experiences, Douglass talks about being too young to work in fields and thereby developing a relationship with the young white boy Daniel. By the time he was around 8 years old, Douglass is sent to live with Mr.
He is being taken to Baltimore which to him sounds like heaven compared to the plantation. He feels blessed by God to be going away from the plantation and has the first inkling that slavery will not consume his whole life.
Furthermore, upon arriving, he is amazed by the bustling coastal city and is even more impressed by his new mistress, Sophia Auld. Her brother scolds her and tells her that teaching a slave and allowing him to learn will only make him unhappy later, a fact which Douglass begins to agree with later as his level of education increases.
Although there are still examples of cruelty toward slaves in the North Douglass cites a few examples he admits that slaves had far more freedom and masters were more careful about seeming cruel.
She ceases teaching Frederick and her attitude toward him changes completely.
He thinks for the first time about running away and throughout the rest of the book, escape remains at the forefront of his thoughts. It is also during this time that he tries to learn to read and write in any way possible.
By hanging out at the docks he finds white friends who teach him some things and he practices writing whenever possible in secret.Previous post Comparison of "Frankenstein" and" Flowers for Algernon": Science Fiction and the Redefinitions of Humanity in Works by Mary Shelley and Daniel Keyes Next post Major Themes in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass".
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass that was is a memoir by Frederick Douglass that was first published in Previous post Analysis and Summary of "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" Next post Freedom, Liberty, and Meaning in the Slave Narrative: Frederick Douglass, Booker T.
Washington and Olaudah Equiano.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself (The Bedford Series in History and Culture) [David W. Blight] on torosgazete.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.5/5(3).
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass The tone established in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is unusual in that from the beginning to the end the focus has been shifted.
frederick douglass, an american slave by frederick douglass 7^wys`f7taa]e. narrative of the life of frederick douglass, an american slave. w ritten by himself. boston published at the anti-slavery office, no.
25 cornhill narrative of the life of frederick douglass.