Do You Think Frederick Douglass's My Bondage And My Freedom Is Authentic? If So, How Do You Explain The Inconsistancies Between His Three Autobiographies?

1308 words - 5 pages

Fact or Fiction: You Decide!I believe the book, My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass is an authentic retelling of his life. It is the story of a boy who was born a slave. He was one of very few who knew how to read and write. He stood up against those keeping him down, such as Mr. Covey. "I now forgot my roots, and remembered my pledge to stand up in my own defense." (Douglass, pg. 242) escaped slavery, and started his own newspaper. Frederick Douglass became a very important abolitionist and titled, "the representative colored man of the United States." (Gates, pg.1) Frederick Douglass was living his American Dream, which means to him freedom, equality, and happiness. It was best said by Thomas Jefferson, in The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."(Jefferson, pg.45) Douglass wrote two more biographies, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Even though there a many inconsistencies between the three auto-biographies, I still believe My Bondage and My Freedom to be true to life because of the impeccable details, the literary style, and because it is different from other slave books.My Bondage and My Freedom, written by Frederick Douglass has flawless details. These details are so true to life, that it would be hard to make up. Also, Douglass was scrutinized for four years after his first auto-biography came out, and his story was always the same. "Before the abolitionists published Douglass's Narrative, they put him on the lecture circuit for four years: that way, his patrons would learn if his story could withstand public scrutiny, while Douglass himself could practice and improve the telling of his tale." (Gates, pg.3)Moreover, the literary style used by Frederick Douglass also helps to make one think the book is a product of Douglass's own life. First of all, the book is told in first person. Also, he writes in a way that reaches the reader's emotions without forcing them. It was best said by Margaret Fuller, "Considered merely as a narrative, we have never read one more simple, true, coherent and warm with genuine feeling. It is an excellent piece of writing, and on that score to be prized as a specimen of the power of the Black Race, which prejudice persists in disputing." (Gates, pg.3)In addition, Frederick Douglass's auto-biographies are written very differently from the many hundreds of other books written by slaves. The majority of these other books, show the slave master as the devil and the slaves as perfect angels. Douglass, however, is able to show both sides and even goes as far as to defend the masters. "The slaveholder, as well as the slave, is the victim of the slave system. A man's character greatly takes its hue and shape from...

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