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A Brief Biography Of Frederick Douglass

1579 words - 7 pages

“There are three keys to life, believe in yourself, take advantage of every opportunity and use the power of spoken and written language to effect positive change for yourself and society (IUPUI, N.P.)."Heard from the mouth of Frederick Douglass himself, he embraced these three “rules” which allowed his work to be superior from other authors of his time. Frederick could relate to the realist point of view because up until the age of 20 he was a slave, alone on a plantation. This period of literature began in 1860 and ended around 1910. Frederick was at the peak of his writing when this movement occurred, being only in his mid-forties; he was a fresh, energetic author who was not shy about expressing his opinion.
Douglass endured a brutal life as he was born into slavery, a major disadvantage, which challenged him to transform not only his own life but the lives of others so that they would not have to experience the torturous life as a slave. Douglass was betrayed by his family as they dropped him off at a plantation because they could not take care of him (PBS N.P.). His brutal life as a slave was compounded by the fact that his parents only gave him one thing in life, a white master. This tragic event allowed Douglass to put immense passion and emotion into his writing. He was not only writing to degrade the slave ridden society but to make a name for himself because he had no family to rely upon. His contributions to literature were immeasurable as he wrote from a perspective that had never been investigated. He added to the Southern culture accurate events that happened and the true life of a slave that historians later picked up. He taught himself how to read and write so his form was completely unique and personal (Douglass N.P.). His autobiographies about slavery opened the eyes of many Americans and helped to sway the northern states into supporting abolition. His newspaper, The North Star, captivated the audience as he details his childhood, escape, and eventual rise to literary fame (Douglass N.P.). It was illegal for him to learn how to write yet he defied all odds to lead a revolution. Douglass had the courage to write when he could be captured and sold at any given moment. He sacrificed his well-being so that his voice could be heard and America, along with literature was changed forever.
Many literary critics have tried to find fault with Douglass but many simply revel in his style and the genius thoughts that he could put down onto paper. Doreen Piano wrote a “Critical Essay on "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, and Written by Himself.” Miss Piano admires the complex narrative structure implemented by Douglass. The complex narrative structure is described by the author as a point of view that uses two different forms of personal pronouns. Douglass uses “I” to characterize him as a different person in the past and in the present (Piano, 1). The author is praising Douglass for his unique...

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