Frederick Douglass on the Horrors of Slavery Book Review by scribbler

Frederick Douglass on the Horrors of Slavery
A review of "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" by Frederick Douglass.
# 153373 | 2,014 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 26, 2013 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Slavery)

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The paper reviews "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" and explores the nature of American slavery and how physically, mentally and spiritually, the slaves were kept in a state of true bondage. The paper examines Douglass' critical attitude towards religion in the slaveholding states, and discusses how the book significantly propelled the anti-slavery movement. The paper also considers why there was so much controversy surrounding the authenticity of Douglass' autobiography.

From the Paper:

"Slaves were kept in bondage in many different ways, according to Douglass. First of all, they were kept uneducated, which also made them less secure and confident in themselves as people. Douglass knows that education makes people stronger and more confident, and the slaveholders know this too, and so they try to keep the slaves emotionally in chains by not allowing them to study and learn. To be educated to is to be empowered and the slaveholders would make sure that the slaves would never be empowered. Douglass allows himself to think freely and we understand that this empowers him, although there are times when he also seems like he thinks of himself just as a slave, which shows how slavery kept even those who knew that they were not inferior down. Douglass often goes back and forth from wanting to become literate to just wanting to give up hope because everything feels so pointless to him. He states, "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but offered no ladder upon which to get out" (Douglass 36)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written By Himself. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. Print.

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"Frederick Douglass on the Horrors of Slavery" 26 May 2013. Web. 17 April. 2021. <>