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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Essay

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Updated: Nov 15th, 2021

Introduction

Frederick Douglass is the writer of the slavery origin, who managed to get an education and to tell the whole world about the life of slaves, about their suffering and abjection, which they have to sustain. “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is an autobiographical telling, which explicit the life of Frederick Douglass from the born slave to the educated and free person, who managed to reach a high level of appreciation in the society as a writer and an orator in the abolitionist movement.

Main Body

The story is the retelling of Frederick Douglass’s life from his berth to becoming a free person. Having been born from the slave mother and most likely from the white master, Frederick Douglass was separated from his mother. Being a child, his life was not very difficult, as he worked in the house. Being seven, he was given to Hugh Auld’s family, who had never had slaves before. Frederick Douglass was treated well in the family, moreover, Hugh’s wife tried to teach Douglass, but her husband forbade her. Life with Edward Covey was much more difficult, as Douglass was considered unmanaged and was punished frequently. This period of time made Douglass think about his destiny and made him refuse the desire to learn, he was turned into an animal without any human feelings, which were attributable to him before coming to Edward Covey. Having traveled from one muster to the other, Douglass again returns to Hugh Auld.

The desire to be educated and free was not broken, and this desire became possible. Douglass became free, got married, and thanks to his desire for learning, he managed not only to become a writer, but also a successful orator, which helped him in fighting for the rights of black people and becoming a valid member of society.

The book about the life of Frederick Douglass is a great example of the desire for knowledge, of the desire to be educated and successful in the life. All these facts may be followed from the very beginning of the slave and the reaching the main of the life by free man. One of the ideas of the story is the power of knowledge which was shown in the example of Frederick Douglass’s life.

Living with Hugh Auld and his wife, he was treated well and even was started taught reading by Sophia Auld, when her husband forbade her telling that it “was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read” (Douglass 29). Such consideration may be named right as education is power and those who possess knowledge, possess the world. Mr. Auld understood it, and was sure that after being educated, the slave will once “become unmanageable and of no value to his master” (Douglass 30).

It is impossible to deny that education is a power that makes people free. Analyzing the life of Douglass, it becomes understandable what Mr. Auld wanted to say. Moreover, the book proves that education can make person dream, can make people think about serious things which are unreachable for those who know nothing. Having read the book, it becomes understandable why slaves were uneducated and why they did not try to escape. Illiterate people are unaware of the possibilities of life and do not suffer from it, as the other life is unfamiliar for them.

Conclusion

So, education is the power that makes people provide the actions, which are unreachable for others. Educated people run their lives, they run the world, while illiterate people are guided by others. It is the law of nature and Frederick Douglass’s example is the best confirmation of the discussed theme.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave. Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2004.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." November 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglass/.

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