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Life of Frederick Douglass

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Born in Tuckahoe, Maryland, Frederick Douglass was born and raised as a slave to Harriet Bailey. He guessed that he was born around 1818 based on an overheard comment from his master, due to the fact that most slaves were not allowed to know their ages. A strong persuasive point made in this book is where Douglass talks about his separation from his mother as an infant which was a common tradition to destroy the affection between a mother and child. Douglass never saw his mother more than five times in his life and when he did; they were very short lived moments. "Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of [my mother's] death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger". He was now left with no knowledge to who his father was but it was to be believed that his master in fact was his father. But because his mother was a slave, he also had to be a slave like his mother which was the law of an interracial child. In today's society, slavery is viewed unconcernedly because we know very little of the truths that lie behind it. Many of us think of it to be a white man abusing and forcing colored people to work for them on their plantation. However, Frederick Douglass' autobiography gives a more descriptive view of what slavery was really about. The main conflicts to his story are how slavery dehumanized the slaves, the different practices of religion, and his struggle to be free from slavery, physically and mentally.

Slavery was a cruel, ignorant, and vicious act that dehumanized the many African Americans who had fell victim to it. When Douglass was young hiding in a closet, he witnessed his Aunt Hester stripped down to her waist, set up on a hook, and whipped until she was covered in blood. Slaveholders had little regard for their slaves' lives because killing a slave in Talbot County was not considered a criminal offense. There was a common saying that the white little boys would say, "it is worth a half-cent to kill a slave and a half-cent to bury one". All slaves are ranked along with animals, as well as treated like one; even the children. Slave children had to go half-naked for the whole year and were fed food in a trough like pigs. Slavery was not only dehumanizing to the slaves, but to the slaveholders as well according to Douglass. His example was that before Mrs. Sophia Auld became a slaveholder, she was pure, kind, and full of generosity; but after becoming a slaveholder, all of her good qualities were gone. Douglass faced the darkest time of his life when he was sent to work for Mr. Covey, who was known for his cruel acts upon the slaves. He [Douglass] was overworked and constantly beaten to the point where he had no wish to read, think, or even live life anymore. If these facts and statements don't persuade the reader into being against slavery, then what does?

With all the hatred and hell going on slaves turned to religion. Religion played the most important role in giving Douglass hopes of becoming a free man. There were different types of practices of religion; Douglass however was a true Christian. He persuades the reader into believing that one of his slave owners, Edward Covey, was a hypocrite. He basically says that he went around



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