Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Study Guide

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Study Guide

Original title:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Published September 1st 2004 by Ingram (first published 1845)
United States of America
Maryland(United States)
ISBN 1580495761 (ISBN13: 9781580495769)

Out of all the voices talking about slavery, Frederick Douglass is one of the most vivid ones. Having lived through it himself, he knows the exact price of freedom. Luckily for him, Frederick was born in the North of the States and “enjoyed” a milder form of slavery where he had access to means of self-education. Having taught himself to read and write, after fleeing to New York he was greatly affected by the abolitionist movement newspapers.

Writing the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself” was his way of finding a place in the hostile world. Even after making a career as an anti-slave society speaker and protagonist, he still didn’t really belong among the anti-slavery movement. The whites considered him a threat while and African Americans considered him a liar and a hypocrite.

The Narrative is a real encyclopedia of American slavery of the early 1800s. With all the real names, the reader has never been so close to the cruelty and despair lived during those times. Imagine the times when the civil war is in the unreal perspective, voting right isn’t even in the dreams, you don’t even know the exact date of your birthday and your family ties are broken from the very childhood.

You live on the “Great House Farm”, even though there’s never enough food, beds or candles for people like you. Together with the author you experience the joy of having the luxury to work in the house instead of plantation, and having a privilege to travel to another state as a gift to your previous owner’s relative.

The Narrative is not just a mere recall of the events, but an active interpretation of the experience lived by a real person. It makes us reconsider the values and problems with have in life. It makes us grateful and ashamed at the same time. But most importantly, it makes us human again.

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