Masculine Freedom Essay

777 words - 4 pages

Frederick Douglass drew a strong correlation between being a man and being free. The process of Douglass’s freedom starts psychologically and slowly manifests itself until it is a tea kettle boiling over with action. Throughout the story, Douglass gradually grows into a man based on the principles of knowledge and self confidence. He identifies knowledge as the key to freedom and confidence as its vehicle.
Frederick first learns reading and writing while living in Baltimore with Mr. and Mrs. Auld. His mistress, whom he describes as “a woman of the kindest heart and finest feelings” begins to teach him how to read. Upon discovery that Mrs. Auld was teaching Frederick to read, Mr. Auld puts ...view middle of the document...

Covey rented unruly slaves from wealthier slave owners to farm his fields. Often times he was used as a slave breaker. Douglass goes to great lengths to detail how proud Covey was and how important it was for him to maintain his good reputation. “Mr. Covey had acquired a very high reputation for breaking young slaves, and this reputation was of immense value to you him. It enabled him to get his farm tilled with much less expense to himself than he could have it done without such a reputation.” writes Douglass. Not long after staying with Covey, Douglass hit’s a breaking point saying, “My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!” A brute he may have been but a man he still was also. Men have self-respect and self-worth even in the lowest of places. After having a heat stroke and having been beaten for it, Douglass runs away to visit his master and plea for protection. Upon returning to the farm Douglass hits another pivotal waypoint to his freedom. Douglass recounts the what happened,...

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