Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Authors Avatar by isaucedo12 (student)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Slavery was extremely common throughout southern culture. The south had crops that required hard labor and whites where not willing to do it. Slaves were not necessarily willing to do the work either; however since they were slaves they stood forced to do the job. Sugar, tobacco, rice, and cotton were among the commercial crops grown in the south. These crops were extremely profitable, but backbreaking and hard labor for the slaves. Sugar and cotton were harder and more demanding to grow, therefore, increasing the death rates of slaves in those areas.  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass shows from first-hand what life as a slave meant for some of the slaves in the south. The Narrative starts off by mentioning the harsh truths of being the son of a slave mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at an early age.  I never saw my mother, to know her as such, more than four or five times in my life. 

Frederick Douglass, born in Tuckahoe, Maryland lived to see his mother only a few times in his life while she was alive and did not learn about her death after she had passed. Slavery was immoral, degrading, and absolutely wrong; Douglass talks about slave owners depriving their slaves of general information like birth dates and other basic facts about themselves in a way to prevent them from creating a view about them as a person.  Denying someone of their identity, family ties, and relationships prevents people from organizing and having a similar view. This was something that slave owners feared, they were afraid that slave would get together and revolt against their owners, therefore, keeping information like this from them in a way prevented any trouble.

Join now!

Life as a slave began as a child, from being separated from your mother to the uncertainty of who you were or who your father was. Frederick Douglass was half white but did not know exactly who his father was masters. “The opinion was also whispered that” his master might have been his father, “but of the correctness of this opinion” could not be proven since the only person who knew was his deceased mother.  As enslaved children, they had to live through frightening events in the hands of brutal masters.  He describes his account of waking up in the middle of ...

This is a preview of the whole essay