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The Narrative of the Life of an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

  • Date Submitted: 10/08/2013 08:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.9 
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The Narrative of the Life of An American Slave by Frederick Douglass is about a man born into slavery and is forced to work his whole life. He suffers multiple beatings, being separated from his mother, and treated like a worthless swine from his masters. Frederick Douglass lived an extremely rough life. Almost every African American was being treated this way, some were used for different jobs such as; field work, cleaning, and the elderly watched over the master’s children, but nonetheless, they were slaves; slaves that had no freedom and rights. Most African Americans weren’t given an education. They weren’t allowed to read or write.
African Americans were treated so poorly, due to no civil right. Sometimes the masters would punish and whip them for no reason other than to be cruel. Other times, they were punished for disobeying their masters. For example, Douglass gives vivid detail of his Aunt Hester being brutally beaten. He wrote,”… the warm, red blood (amid heart-rendering shrieks from her, and horrid oaths from him) came dripping on the floor.” Douglass’s aunt suffered painful lashes for disobeying her master, as did a million other slaves.
Most African American’s were slaves from birth till death. Being a slave was all they knew; how to obey a master and how to work hard. Learning how to read and write just was not something important master’s thought they should learn. Also, most masters felt they were not even worthy of an education. Frederick Douglass was one of the very few slaves who was taught to read and write. While living with Hugh Auld, Mrs. Auld taught Frederick. “My mistress, who had kindly commenced to instruct me, had, in compliance with the advice and direction of her husband, not only ceased to instruct but had set her face against my being instructed by an one else.” In the beginning, Mrs. Auld was warm hearted and kind but, unfortunately her warm heart turned ice cold and she no longer tutored Frederick. In fact her,” tender heart...


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