Fredrick Douglass

Could any slave's life be characterized as a typical slave experience?Frederick Douglass's life as a slave was an uncommon one and cannot represent the institution of slavery as a whole.He did, however, in his Narrative create an important parallel from his life to that of any slave.When Douglass describes the lives, culture, and mental struggles of slaves a more political argument appears which pleads for a feasible end to the system of slavery.
Born into slavery on a plantation near Talbot County, Maryland, Frederick Douglass began his life much the same as any other slave on a plantation.He was taken from his Mother before the twelfth month and was taken care of by his grandmother.Taking a slave child from their mother was common practice.This created a mental affect that according to Douglass only purpose was to "hinder the development of the child's affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child" (42).In order to illustrate this Douglass's tells of his reaction to when he learned his mother had died, "I received tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger" (43).This creates a sense that slaves were deprived in a way so that they would not feel any strong emotion at all in order to remain mentally stable to work.
Douglass's father was a white man of unknown origin but most rumors he heard was that his paternity was that of his master.Mulatto children were becoming very common in the south and since the child's status whether free or enslaved depended solely on the race of the mother these children were the slaves of there own fathers.Here Douglass makes a political argument from the narrative, "If their increase will do no other good, it will do away the force of the argument that God cursed Ham, and therefore American Slavery is right&quo…


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