Frederick Douglass: Narrative Of The Life Of Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Sports - Women Type: Essay Paper: #68586451 Related Topics: Frederick Douglass, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl, Slave Narrative, Narrative
Excerpt from Essay :

Frederick Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave was an autobiography crafted by the famous former slave and abolitionist to illustrate the horror of slavery. Over the course of the narrative, Douglass uses a combination of pathos, logos, and ethos to convince the reader of his or her moral obligation to fight against the enslavement of African-Americans. Douglass gives particular attention to the condition of women in relation to slavery, both how slavery deprives black women of the protections they should have as females and how it corrupts the soul of white women with power.

Douglass was born a slave and he makes clear early on that he was aware of the horrors of slavery from an early age. The first incident he details is the following to illustrate this: "I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he [the master] used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with


On an emotional level of pathos, this illustrates the cruel and capricious nature of slavery. In terms of ethos, the beating is inflicted upon a defenseless woman, something that would have been horrifying to Douglass' 19th century readers who regarded women as the frailer sex that should be protected. It also underlines the vulnerability of the slave: even if the slave does nothing wrong, she can be beaten simply for the master's pleasure. The beating is said to be like a rape: the aunt was stripped naked and beaten so hard that the fencepost was bloody afterward. The white man also called her terrible names which Douglas insinuates that no woman should know, much less be called. The young Frederick said he cowered and fear and was sure he would be next. Later, he found that the aunt had been sneaking out at night to see someone but he stresses that the actions were not to preserve her virtue, but to teach her a lesson about obedience. On a logical level (logos) Douglass states that his aunt was well-respected and loved in the slave community and this shows how even a virtuous woman was not safe in an enslaved condition. Rather than serving a protective function, as slave-owners sometimes claimed was the case, slavery left women open and vulnerable to being violated.

Frederick Douglass also uses an incident of the murder of a slave to indicate its brutality. Slaves could be murdered with virtual impunity as well, once again defying the contention that slaves were happy in their lot. Douglass details how he learned that "the wife of Mr. Giles Hicks, living but a short distance from where I used to live, murdered my wife's cousin, a young girl between fifteen and sixteen years of age, mangling her person in the most horrible manner, breaking her nose and breastbone with a stick, so that the poor girl expired in a few hours afterward" (Douglass 26). Once again, Douglass notes using logos there was no reason for…

Sources Used in Documents:

Work Cited

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

14 Dec 2014. Web.

Cite this Document:

"Frederick Douglass Narrative Of The Life Of" (2014, December 15) Retrieved January 26, 2022, from

"Frederick Douglass Narrative Of The Life Of" 15 December 2014. Web.26 January. 2022. <>

"Frederick Douglass Narrative Of The Life Of", 15 December 2014, Accessed.26 January. 2022,

Related Documents
Frederick Douglass' "Narrative on the Life of
Words: 1198 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 39152415

Frederick Douglass' "Narrative on the Life of Frederick Douglass" is a ground-breaking autobiographical tale of Douglass' childhood of slavery, his struggle to escape, and his triumph over stereotypical restraints put upon him because of his color. Douglass uses his narrative to dispel the myths about African-Americans - myths that white slave owners typically circulated to justify their cruel treatment of slaves. He also exposes the white Americans who do not

Frederick Douglass the Narrative of
Words: 2760 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 94878231

"To degrade and stamp out the liberties of a race" signified the "studied purpose" of linking social and civil equality. Douglass concluded that if the Civil Rights Law attempted to promote social equality, so did "the laws and customs of every civilized country in the world," including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, and the Apostles' Creed. He warned

Narrative of Frederick Douglass
Words: 1350 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 36710311

Narrative of Frederick Douglass Slavery is perhaps one of the most common forms of human justice in the history of the world. Although the phenomenon has existed for centuries, across many cultures, a particularly brutal form of the phenomenon was perpetrated in the United States before its abolition. It is, however, a testament to the human spirit that some, like Frederick Douglass, had the inner will and drive to escape overwhelming

Frederick Douglass and Precious Jones
Words: 1403 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 42070951

Although fictional, Precious Jones, speaks to the reader through her story with powerful words. She is living in a different kind of slavery, although slavery itself had been abolished ore than a century ago. She is a slave to the lack of humanity of her own parents and the indifference of those who are supposed to teach and offer her guidance in school. As a child, she has no choice,

Frederick Douglass the Role of
Words: 1523 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 67811089

Douglass in the form of intellectual revolt. All of these incidents of violence which took place when Frederick Douglass was struggling to become a man free of the bondage of slavery and the inherent dangers that come with it, clearly indicate that the life of a slave during the early to mid-1800's was filled with brutality, murder and death, almost always at the hands of white slave owners and their

Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth
Words: 806 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 59650624

As for Frederick Douglass, he was nothing short of brilliant. His speeches were powerful and his writing was extraordinarily skillful, especially given the fact that he was born a slave and taught himself much of what he knew. His narrative is polished and at times understated, which actually adds power to what he says. Because when a reader goes through the Narrative from the Life of Frederick Douglass that reader