Frederick douglass essay

Douglass’s first master is Captain Anthony. The Captain’s overseer, Mr. Plummer, is a drunk and a cruel man who carries a whip and cudgel with him and often uses them on slaves. The Captain himself is cruel as well. Douglass recalls the Captain frequently whipping Douglass’s Aunt Hester. Douglass recalls feeling like both a witness to and a participant in the abuse the first time he ever saw it. He remembers this moment as his introduction into the hellish world of slavery. Douglass cannot, even now, describe what he felt while watching Aunt Hester’s whipping.

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Another very important issue in terms of book banning is that many challenges involve children’s or young adult books, largely because parents are uncomfortable exposing their children to aspects of the world that may harm their ‘innocence’, or somehow incite unwanted behaviors.  Again, these emotions stem from inherent, protective instincts that are part of our makeup.  But there is almost no way to prevent people–young or old–from accessing the world and all the beauty and ugliness it contains.  Instead, we also recommend communication.  Talk with younger people (and older people.  And people your own age) about the books they are reading, about what they liked about them, about how those books made them feel.  Let them ask you questions about what words mean, about an odd grammatical choice in the text, about a character’s motivations or decisions.  Read books with other people.  I promise you, you’ll be surprised and impressed by the results.

The public and the private in this work are, as Gibson sees them, perpetually at war. One is "supporting and lending authority and significance to the other." At stake here is how "the personality of the narrator seeks a larger role than the public purpose of the book can allow" while at the same time "the public perspective aims to dominate, to suppress all about the narrator except his representative qualities..." Gibson provides several textual examples for his assertion. In this chapter in particular, the discussion of Gore and the particularities of life at the Great House Farm are part of a larger discussion on slavery in Maryland and the country as a whole. This inability to separate public and private makes Douglass's autobiography compelling as well as didactic and important.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass received many positive reviews, but there was a group of people who opposed Douglass's work. One of his biggest critics, A. C. C. Thompson, was a neighbor of Thomas Auld, who was the master of Douglass for some time. As seen in "Letter from a Slave Holder" by A. C. C. Thompson, found in the Norton Critical Edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , he claimed that the slave he knew was "an unlearned, and rather an ordinary negro". Thompson was confident that Douglass "was not capable of writing the Narrative". He also refuted the Narrative when Douglass described the various cruel white slave holders that he either knew or knew of. Prior to the publication of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , the public could not fathom how it was possible for a former slave to appear to be so educated. Upon listening to his oratory, many were skeptical of the stories he told. After Douglass's publication, however, the public was swayed. [2] Many [ who? ] viewed his text as an affirmation of what he spoke of publicly. Also found in The Norton Critical Edition , Margaret Fuller , a prominent book reviewer and literary critic of that era, had a high regard of Douglass's work. She claimed, "we have never read [a narrative] more simple, true, coherent, and warm with genuine feeling". [3] She also suggested that "every one may read his book and see what a mind might have been stifled in bondage — what a man may be subjected to the insults of spendthrift dandies, or the blows of mercenary brutes, in whom there is no whiteness except of the skin, no humanity in the outward form". Douglass's work in this Narrative was an influential piece of literature in the anti-slavery movement. [ citation needed ]

Frederick douglass essay

frederick douglass essay

The public and the private in this work are, as Gibson sees them, perpetually at war. One is "supporting and lending authority and significance to the other." At stake here is how "the personality of the narrator seeks a larger role than the public purpose of the book can allow" while at the same time "the public perspective aims to dominate, to suppress all about the narrator except his representative qualities..." Gibson provides several textual examples for his assertion. In this chapter in particular, the discussion of Gore and the particularities of life at the Great House Farm are part of a larger discussion on slavery in Maryland and the country as a whole. This inability to separate public and private makes Douglass's autobiography compelling as well as didactic and important.

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