The Role of Violence in the Narrative of Frederick Douglass
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The author of this paper reviews the narrative written by ex-slave, Frederick Douglas, which was first published in1845 and is considered by many to be the definitive description of life as a slave in the years preceding the American Civil War. The work discusses each chapter of Douglas's narrative. The author of the paper concentrates on the incidence and description of violent acts committed against slaves played a very crucial and how such violence almost always played a devastating role in the lives of slaves.
From the Paper:''Clearly in this speech, Frederick Douglass vividly points out that the ``cruelty'' and ``crimes'' committed against African-Americans under the domination of plantation owners in the South and those who have managed to become ex-slaves or freedmen like Douglass, have experienced much violence at the hands of white slave owners and those who buy and sell human beings at slave auctions for a very hefty profit. Nowhere else is this violence so well-detailed as in Douglass' own narrative of his life, first published in 1845 and considered by many of his contemporaries as a true and accurate depiction of slave life some fifteen years before the outbreak of the Civil War.
''In the Preface of Douglass' narrative, the great abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the ``Liberator'' newspaper of Boston, strongly supports the assertion that violence played a very crucial and almost always devastating role in the lives of slaves. For example, Garrison mentions several instances of ``murderous cruelty'' brought against slaves for no other reason than for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or for attempting to escape from a ``bloody scourging'' at the hands of a white plantation owner.''
Sample of Sources Used:
- Du Bois, W.E.B. Black Reconstruction in America--1860-1880. New York: The Free Press, 1998.
- Jacobs, Harriet. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave/Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Ed. Intro. Kwame Anthony Appiah. New York: Modern Library, 2004.
Cite this Book Review:
The Role of Violence in the Narrative of Frederick Douglass (2011, May 12) Retrieved January 28, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-role-of-violence-in-the-narrative-of-frederick-douglass-147527/
"The Role of Violence in the Narrative of Frederick Douglass" 12 May 2011. Web. 28 January. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-role-of-violence-in-the-narrative-of-frederick-douglass-147527/>