Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Essay by mattyJRHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

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"Is it possible for the human mind to conceive of a more horrible state of society?" This is the question that William Lloyd Garrison asked in his introduction to the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. To a colored human in the early 1800's, there wasn't a more horrible state of society. It was hard work, day in and day out, with very little food, clothing, and other necessities for healthy living. In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass describes the harsh living conditions of slaves in America. He describes the harassment of the slaves in great detail. In this report, I will give a review of the autobiography of the American slave, Frederick Douglass.

To a slave owner in the early 1800's, a slave was typically thought of as an animal. Slaves did not know their ages, just as a horse does not of know of its age.

The consequence of being born into an environment constructed and carefully maintained by their owners was hard work everyday. Since the environment that they live in does not permit the idea that slaves are human, the only perspective on life is that of the owner's. The slaves then thought of themselves as animals, and not as humans.

Douglass learns to read and write during his time spent in Baltimore. The newly acquired skills open Douglass up to outside world, and the perspective of what it means to be a human. He was able to see how horrible the world was that he already knew. He mentioned that the new skills "had been a curse, rather than a blessing." It allowed him to see his condition without the remedy. In response to William Lloyd Garrison's question mentioned in the opening sentence, a more horrible state of society is only conceivable...