Douglass is considered one of the most distinguished black writers in nineteenth-century American literature. Born into slavery, he escaped in and subsequently devoted his considerable rhetorical skills to the abolitionist movement. Expounding the theme of racial equality in stirring, invective-charged orations and newspaper editorials in the s, s, and s, he was recognized by his peers as an outstanding orator and the foremost black abolitionist of his era. Douglass's current reputation as a powerful and effective prose writer is based primarily on his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American SlaveWritten by Himself.
His father was an unknown white man who may have been his master. Douglass believes that education is a path to self-emancipation, and for this reason, he teaches himself to read and write in Baltimore. Under Freeland, he attempts his first escape, which fails.
Throughout his enslavement, Douglass finds that the most religious masters are, hypocritically, often the cruelest to their slaves.
Douglass spends his final months of slavery in Baltimore with Hugh, where he learns the trade of caulking ships. Douglass successfully escapes to New York, where he marries Anna Murray, and then makes his way to Massachusetts, where he becomes an antislavery advocate.
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Plus so much more On watching Captain Anthony whip Aunt Hester: I was quite a child, but I well remember it. I never shall forget it whilst I remember any thing. It was the first of a long series of such outrages, of which I was doomed to be a witness and a participant.
It struck me with awful force. It was the blood- stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass. It was a most terrible spectacle.
I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with which I beheld it.Douglass portrays him as a greedy slave master who exploited Douglass as a day worker. Hugh prohibited Douglass from learning to read because he felt a knowledgeable slave was a dangerous one.
Sophia Auld The wife of Hugh Auld. A lot of books begin with an introduction by some famous person, and you usually just skip them, right?
This preface is a little different.
It was written by William Lloyd Garrison, a prominent abolitionist leader and one of Douglass's first friends in the North, and we think it should be considered part of the book. Instant downloads of all LitChart PDFs (including The Narrative of Frederick Douglass). LitCharts Teacher Editions.
Teach your students to . Within that time, Douglass progresses from unenlightened victim of the dehumanizing practices of slavery to educated and empowered young man. He gains the resources and convictions to escape to the North and wage a political fight against the institution of slavery.
Read an in-depth analysis of Frederick Douglass. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass characters covered include: Frederick Douglass, Captain Anthony, Colonel Edward Lloyd, Lucretia Auld, Captain Thomas Auld, Hugh Auld, Sophia Auld, Edward Covey, Betsy Bailey, Aunt Hester, Harriet Bailey, Sandy Jenkins, William Freeland, William Hamilton, William Gardner, Anna Murray, Nathan Johnson, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips.
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