23 November 2009
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
While reading the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas I felt overwhelmed. I have read about slave pieces in high school but none that have touched me like this. He explains in detail the treatment he and his fellow slaves received and the punishments were unbearable. I do not understand how people came to treat others this way. It is incredible to me that he not only learned to read and write but escaped the harsh life to be able to tell about it.
While reading the beginning of the story he states that he did not know his mother. “My mother and I were separated when I was ...view middle of the document...
The master’s felt if they made punishment and life hard enough that the slaves would not rebel. The clothes they received yearly were “two linen shirts, two pairs of trousers, one jacket, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, an overcoat, and a wool hat” (Life as a Slave). This is not enough to keep warm during the winter or even last to the winter for that matter. If the clothes wore out before the next yearly giving, they went around naked. To me this is another way to embarrass a slave and make them feel under someone. This is wrong and unjust.
I found the way that Douglas escaped and thought it was great. “In 1838, Douglass escaped slavery in an elaborate scheme where he wore a sailor’s uniform and borrowed papers from a free African-American seaman. In a journey that took less than twenty-four hours, he left Baltimore by train and travelled through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Philadelphia. He says, though, that he did not feel safe until he reached New York City” (Frederick Douglas). This was a wonderful idea and it worked. The fact that he didn’t feel safe until he got to New York was sad to me. There should have never been slavery. Nobody should have to feel unsafe...