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"Past is Past" but "Present" is "FUTURE" - Asra

Frederick Douglass 5

  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2010 05:47 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.2 
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Frederick Douglass was a well spoken, highly descriptive author. His fluency with the English language was superb and, without a doubt, collegiate level. After reading his book, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, one would believe Douglass to be a highly educated man. The reality is, at the time Narrative was written, Douglass was a 27 year old escaped slave. Douglass was self educated, having no formal educational training. I was personally astounded by his spirit to learn, second only to his desire to be free.

In 1841, Douglass attended an anti-slavery convention in Nantucket. He had attended several before this one in particular but, “seldom had much to say. . . what I wanted to say was said so much better by others.” (p.151). After being encouraged to speak, Douglass began reluctantly, but soon felt at ease speaking to the gathering. From that time forward, he became a leading speaker at anti-slavery meetings and wrote Narrative, his biography, in 1845 for use as an abolitionist tool. Douglass’ stated his driving force for this work as: “Sincerely and earnestly hoping that this little book may do something toward throwing the light on the American slave system, and hastening the glad day of deliverance to the millions of my brethren in bonds…” (p. 159).

Douglass himself was beaten, first by Master Thomas who he “…had lived with him nine months, during which time he had given me a number of severe whippings, all to no good purpose.” (p. 100) After which time he was rented out to Mr. Covey, a “nigger-breaker." (p. 100) At the age of 15, Douglass lived with Mr. Covey and for the first time was required to perform field work. Covey’s slaves referred to him as “the snake” because he would go through great lengths to catch the slaves resting. Once he pretended to ride off only to double back to sneak upon the slaves. Other times Covey “…would sometimes crawl on his hands and knees to avoid detection…” (p. 103) Douglass admits that Covey...


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