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Abolition of Slavery

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Abolition of slavery

Even though Fredrick wrote various autobiographies throughout his lifetime, none of them continues to have a lasting Impact like the narrative of the life of Douglass, the American slave, which he wrote by himself. Since its publication in the year 1845 to date, the story presents high status in the American literature history. It is one of the most highly acclaimed autobiographies ever written in America. The book was published seven years after Douglass escaped slavery in Maryland (Bloom, 45). The paper allows the readers to understand Douglas ambition of becoming free, the physical and psychological issues effects of slavery to the enslaved and the truths about slavery.

Douglas clearly explored the truth about slavery.  "It was considered as being bad enough to be a slave; but to be a poor man's slave was deemed a disgrace indeed.., “(Bloom, 65. He realized that literacy was being equated to both freedom and individual consciousness "From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace…”. (Bloom, 75) Since that day he made it his goals to acquire as much knowledge as he could. He finally learned the art of writing, the skill that earned him his passport to freedom. The book complex in nature due to the ability of the author to include some advanced devices which fashion a distinctly African American identity. During his scholarly work, Henry Louis in his prolog to classic narratives said that the rhetoric power used by Douglass to convince his audience constituted of thought structures and feelings for all the black slaves, he is impressive and articulate, the characters that represent the entire collection of the black slave community. By borrowing from a range of dialogues that includes emotional rhetoric, narrative, autobiographies, classical and religious oratory, Douglas created a testimony to both horrors of slavery and the human spirit's power to transcend the odds. The compelling, narrative document shows the ability of Douglass to convert himself to an educated liberal man from an oppressed and illiterate slave not only by literally escaping but also in language (Cline-Ransome, 56).

During the time when Douglass was writing his narrative, most of the African American, particularly in the south, has fewer opportunities to write and learn "A single word from the white men was enough-against all our wishes, prayers, and entreaties-to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings.”(Bloom,  90) Additionally, they had little standing or legal representation to prevent them from physical harm or give them access to the legal action. Still as a slave, Douglas managed to both protect him from harm and learn without any assistance. As shown during his confrontations with Mr. convey. The fight that broke out between conveys and Douglas was the narrative's turning point. It portrayed Douglas fight to acquire freedom as also a struggle to gain self-hood as a man. From his famous lines, when he was explaining to his people  “ in the same way you saw a man enslaved, it is the same way you can  see a slave making a man” (bloom,  96) His statements conflict the actual argument at the time that the slaves were non-humans. His statement clarified that the slaves were thought to be non-humans since they were not represented or treated as such and not because they were inferior biologically as previously thought (Douglass, 67). Throughout the narrative, the writer revealed how the slaves were prevented from accessing the basic ideas that provided them with the means for constructing legitimate identities. At the descriptions beginning, Douglas mentioned that the slaves were not aware that they were born which was the wish of many masters so as to keep them ignorant. Knowing one's birth date provided them with particular human identity, history in time and location. The teachers denied them the basic knowledge so to maintain their psychological levels with that of the animals. In the whole narrative, Douglas enlightened us on some methods through which slave holder’s concealed information from slaves so as to prevent them from having the basic self-understanding as human beings. Such revelations lend power and reliability to his narratives while still revealing the identity of a person. One of the challenges encountered while convincing the mid-19th-century readers that he had written the description was the existing stereotype that African-Americans were not capable of learning, Slaves writings did not exist. Through writing, one's identity could be concretely affirmed and seen. The writing was a symbol of one's thinking capacity. In his introductions “I was born a slave “Tylor Yuval mentioned that slave narratives served to end racial discrimination that had widely spread in the society and for slaves like Douglas (Crisp, 23). The writing was an act of self-affirmation and denial of enslavement. Through the acquisition of writing and reading Douglas fashioned self-sense and became aware of his oppression. Douglas book created an African American accurate figure, one who has survived a traumatizing past and testifies on his experience by writing about it. Scholar Annett in his the “problematic of self” argued that slave narratives had broad social missions of ensuring that the future was not repeating the past by establishing the identity of every slave as intelligent and sentient being.



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