An Essay on Frederick Douglass and how when writing his narrative his ability to face his past limited himself in expressing himself in his book

Essay by Roxygal24College, UndergraduateA-, March 2004

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The Complex Emotions of Frederick Douglass

For a book to be successful it is important to not only send a message and to educate, but it is also important to appeal to a wide audience. With Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass needs to appeal to the white man for people to hear his story. While this may be true, it is important to remember the very powerful emotions felt by a slave during the time of slavery. Douglass begins by recalling instances he witnessed as a young boy. All of the scenes are very unemotional. This appears to be due to the fact that Douglass wants to be objective rather then subjective to appeal to his audience. However, later on in chapter ten and in the appendix, Douglass lets his emotions through and he becomes more biased in his retelling. Frederick Douglass is unable to express the emotions he felt as a young boy in the early chapters because he does not want to allow himself to recall them, but as he grows older and becomes more educated Douglass is able to experience and share those emotions more.

As expressed in all the chapters of the Narrative, Douglass tries to give an insight to the educated white man of the evils of slavery. In an effort to appeal to the white audience he uses situations he has observed in his life. By doing this, he is able to paint the awful picture of what slavery was like without necessarily saying it was wrong of the white man to do. Instead, Douglass blames the system and not the people. This is a clever attempt to cover up the blaming of the white man since they created the system and are the only ones who can...