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Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass Essay

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Frederick Douglass was an orator and writer for the abolition movement. He was born into slavery and knows from personal experience how the institution dehumanizes everyone involved. His masters’ wife taught him the alphabet which was the start of Douglass learning how to write and speak out against slavery. His Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass was an attempt to describe the peculiar institution of slavery with out disrupting the sensibilities of his readers. In order to accomplish this Douglass must get his audience to relate to and identify with his life as a slave. He incorporated the same exploitive techniques used in the sentimental novel. This was an 18th century European novel style that engaged readers’ emotions to gain supporters for a particular cause. Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass appealed to the sensibilities of his readers by evoking emotions of sympathy and compassion causing his readers to identify with slavery and label it unnatural.
Fredrick Douglass throughout the novel is describing the horrific actions that maintain the institution of slavery. Separating a child from their mother means that one was never properly nurtured. He never knew his mother and did not build that loving bond that any human child needs to grow emotionally healthy.
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.
(Douglass 2) ...


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...family structure. The acquired slave system demanded that the slave masters impose physiological and psychological maintenance to control slaves. One way of upholding the social order was to strip slaves of their own right to know who they were and where they came from. Ultimately, preventing slaves from ever gaining a sense of self- fulfillment or the pursuit of happiness. Slavery as an institution broke all familial bonds, induced extreme suffering and emphasized inhumanness at the core. Slavery took an emotional toll on all involved and abolishing it benefited the entire American society.


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