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Narrative Of Fredrick Douglass Theme Review Ap Us History Essay

667 words - 3 pages

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a historical account of the experiences witnessed by Frederick Douglass himself during the time of slavery in America from the early 1600s to the late 1800s. Throughout this narrative, the themes of dehumanization and lack of freedom are shown through the experiences of Mr. Frederick Douglass, a slave, from his birth in 1818 until the 3rd of September in the year of 1838 when he escaped from the ties of slavery.
Dehumanization is one theme constantly shown in Frederick Douglass’s accounts from his own slavery. One recollection of dehumanization is shown in the way that slaves were separated from their mothers at an early age. For Douglass, it was at the age of 12 months. Having not seen his mother enough to see her as such, he recalls no more than four or five times in his life having met her. Each time being short in length, late at night, and in secrecy. At the time of his mother’s death, Douglass had not known or been present for her illness, death, or burial. In recalling his relationship with his mother, he claims, “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger (2).”
Throughout the narrative, the theme of dehumanization does not enlighten or in any way improve. It is always followed with the same treatments of cruelty to slaves. Although some masters such as Edward Covey, whose “forte consisted in his power to deceive(37).” and who treated their slave with such cruelty; there were also slave owners similar to William Freeland, whom by Douglass’s account, “My treatment, while in his employment, was heavenly, compared with what I experienced at the hands of Mr. Edward Covey(47).” Although Mr. Freeland had shown mercy to his slaves, some of the same cruelties still took place. Among these being the lack of...

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