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Douglass Essay

Essay Topic:

Slavery was perhaps one of the most appalling tragedies in the history of the United States of America.As explained in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, each slave had a different experience with slavery, but they all had certain things in common and a couple of those things were a life of unthinkable acts of cruelty and the desire to become free. In Douglass' Narrative, he explains his life as a slave and how he uses his education and extraordinary ability of speaking to influence the freedom of all slaves.In reading the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, I like others, found myself to be deeply moved.The way in which Mr. Douglass walked me through his life as a slave gave me a better understanding of the struggle that African American slaves encountered.
Douglass was born in Talbot County, Maryland, but he does not know the year, as most slaves are not allowed to know their ages.He points out that slave owners deliberately keep their slaves ignorant, and that this is a tactic whites us to gain power over slaves.This is the recurrent structure Douglass uses in his narrative.I find this to be interesting, and wonder why that is.How does not knowing the age of ones self keep them ignorant? "I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it.By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant."(pg.19) However, based on an overheard comment from his master, Douglass guesses that he was born in or around 1818. Douglass's mother was Harriet Bailey, and they were separated soon after birth, a common practice among slave owners.Douglass assumes that this custom is intended to break the natural bond of affection between mother and child."For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it i…

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