A Summary of The Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Bailey, later changing his name to Frederick Douglass, was born in to slavery around 1817. Due to the fact slaves were not allowed to know the date of their birth, we are unsure about the year. Douglass was the result of the raping of a slave by her master. This was a common practice and actually profited slave owners by creating more slaves at no cost. However, mixed slaves received harsher treatment by slave owners’ wives because they were disgusted by their existence and ensured their constant suffrage f they were not sold off.
All slaves were constantly beaten, received little food, few articles of clothing, and no bed. From his birth, Douglass was owned by Captain Anthony until the age of seven when he was given to Anthonys son-in-laws brother, Hugh Auld in Baltimore. Douglass receives a much better life under the control of Auld. Auld’s wife even begins to teach Douglass to read until she is stopped by her husband who fears Douglass will become unmanageable if he receives and education. Douglass manages to continue his education and finishes learning to read with the help of local boys.
It is under the control of Auld that Douglass becomes conscious to the evils of slavery and the existence of the abolitionist movement vows to one day escape. Douglass is given to Thomas Auld, Hugh Auld’s brother and Captain Anthonys son-in-law, who finds Douglass unmanageable and rents him to Edward Covey for one year in order to “break” Douglass. Covey is an unbelievably cruel man and after six months, Douglass’s spirit is broken. Douglass becomes indifferent and forgets his dream of escaping until one day when Douglass stands up for himself and fghts Covey.
After the fght, Covey never touched Douglass gain and Douglass’ will to escape is renewed. After his year with Covey, Douglass is rented to William Freeland for two years. It is during this time Douglass begins to educate other slaves. Douglass plans an escape with three other slaves, however, someone tells Freeland of their plan and Douglass and the other slaves are arrested. Douglass is released back to Hugh Auld where he is taught the trade of ship caulking and is allowed to rent out his free time. Douglass saves his money and eventually escapes to New York.
Douglass marries Anna Murray, a free woman, and they then ove to Massachusetts where they receive help from Mr. and Mrs. Johnson who suggest he change his name from Bailey to Douglass. Douglass worked for three years and eventually earned enough money to subscribe to The Liberator, an abolitionist magazine. In 1841, Douglass attends an antislavery convention where he is prompted to speak about his time as a slave. From that day on Douglass spent the rest of his life working against slavery. I believe Douglass should definitely be viewed as a hero, not Just for African Americans, but to anyone who values equality and freedom.
He overcame numerous truggles and even after he gained his own freedom, he spent the rest of his life tgnting tor slaves who were still enduring those same struggles. Douglass lived in a time when blacks were given no voice, and he fought his whole life Just to be heard. His life is a testament to courage and persistence as he fought tirelessly for the freedom of millions of men and women. Douglass portrayed slaveholders as being afflicted by the institution of slavery, causing them to be sadistic and unspeakably cruel. Sophia Auld can be used as an example to this portrayal. When Douglass was first sent to the Auld household,
Sophia was kind and decent to him because she had never owned slaves, but after she fell to the institution of slavery, she became Just as cruel as any slaveholder. “The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. ” Such a depiction can reveals how slavery can dehumanize not only the slave, but also the slave owner. However, this is not to say Douglass views slave owners as victims who have lost their souls. Edward Covey is an individual of the institution who is fully aware of his actions. His cruelty earned him a reputation for “breaking” slaves.
While Auld may have been a victim of the institution, Douglass still regards her to be part of the problem; however, Covey is the embodiment of the problem. This comparison allows Douglass to show that there were different variations of the same theme of cruelty that existed in the slave owning community. Frederick Douglass was a slave and he fought for his freedom. He was ignorant and he fought to learn. He was oppressed and he fought to be heard. It takes an exemplary human being to come from so little and accomplish so much on the behalf of society. Frederick Douglass was a hero and an example to us all.
1984 speech by O’Brian
1984 speech by O’Brian.
Description A speech warning about the dangers of language and the punishments that will be forced upon the people who choose to speak regularly rather than newspeak.
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