Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Book Review . Discuss the process of maturation of Frederick Douglass Essay

Book Review . Discuss the process of maturation of Frederick Douglass from childhood to adulthood. Make sure that you employ a - Essay Example The first theme that manifests in Douglass’s narrative is that of inequality. African American slaves got treated cruelly by their slave masters who viewed them as not being human beings. He begins his narrative by stating that he was not aware of his birth date. He states that neither did he ever meet a slave who could tell his or her birth date (Douglass 1). Meanwhile, the white children could tell their birth date. This shows the inequality that slaves got born into. He narrates of how when his master died they got valued together with livestock as his family shared property. He states how slaves of all kind got ranked with sheep, swine, and horses (Douglass 51). This shows that slaves got viewed as equal to animals by their masters. This was a form of racial inequality. Another theme that manifests itself is that of the path to freedom. Douglass aims to show that he believes education and a progressive urban environment as the keys to freedom. He remarks that a city slave is freer than a slave on a plantation. He notices this when he gets moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He views a city slave as getting fed and clothed better than a slave on a plantation (Douglass 38). In spite of the decency accorded to the city slave, he later notes that there still was much injustice to the slaves whether in the city or plantation. Douglass also believes that education can play a key role towards the freedom of the slave. He strives to learn as much, but again the more he learns, the further he casts doubts on whether knowledge would earn his freedom. He remarks that the more knowledge he acquires, the more his eyes open to the endless evils of slavery (Douglass 47). When Hugh Auld forbids his wife from teaching Douglass, he realizes that this was a witty way through which slaveholders kept their slaves. Auld tells his wife that education ruins slaves. Douglass views that slaveholders hide knowledge from slaves to keep them unaware of the evil that is slavery. Dougla ss embarked on self-education as the key towards his ability to free himself. In his narrative, Douglass also shows the theme of Christianity. He highlights that there exists two forms of Christianity at the time; the real and hypocritical form of Christianity. According to him, there exists Christianity of the land and that of Christ (Douglass 95). Douglass believes the real Christianity gets practiced by him and the whites who preach against slavery. The hypocritical Christianity gets practiced by whites such as Mr. Covey who totally ignore and hide the real ideals of Christianity. He makes a distinction between the two by stating the real Christianity was based on charity and peace. The false Christianity revolves around the immoral and violent actions of slaveholders. Douglass, through his narrative, shows how the slaveholding masters in the south use Christianity to spread their evil deed of slavery. Conclusion The narrative by Douglass presents an emotional and quite moving st ory about his life as a slave until he becomes a free man. He is born a slave and recounts losing his mother at a remarkably young age. He encounters the brutality of slavery at a very early age when he witnessed his aunt Hester getting whipped. He undergoes harsh treatment and cruelty from his slave masters and whites while growing up. In spite of all this hardships, Douglass still manages to remain upbeat and pursue self education even when Mrs. Auld stops teaching

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