Frederick Douglass5 Essay

This essay has a total of 918 words and 4 pages.


Frederick Douglass5





Frederick Douglas's narrative, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, depicts a
vivid reality of the hardships endured by the African American culture in the period of
slavery. One of the many things shown in Frederick's narrative is how slaves, in their
own personal way, resisted their masters authority. Another is how slaves were able to
create their own autonomous culture within the savagely brutal system in which they were
bound. There are many examples in the narrative that Frederick tries to show the
resistance of the slaves. The resistors did not go unpunished though, in fact they were
punished to the severity of death. Fredrick tells these instances with a startling sense
of casualness, which is rather odd feeling when comprehending the content of them. He
does this though, not out of desensitization, but to show that these were very commonplace
things that happened all over the South at the time.

One example that Frederick mentioned in the subject of resistance of the slaves against
the masters is when he was under the charge of Mr. Gore. A slave by the name of Demby was
getting whipped for a mistake he made. After Demby received but a few stripes he ran and
jumped into a creek to the depth of his shoulders and refused to come out. This took
great bravery considering Mr. Gore had a famous reputation for being nasty to slaves.
Demby was given to the count of three to get out of the creek or he was to be shot,
knowing the consequences Demby still refused to get out. He was then shot in the face by
Mr. Gore with a musket. Demby truly resisted his master at the greatest cost he could
have paid, his life.


Another example given by Frederick in his narrative of how slaves were able to resist is
that of himself dealing with an overseer named Mr. Covey. Frederick had fallen ill during
his work one day and was no longer physically able to even stand any longer. When Mr.
Covey saw this he immediately started beating Frederick, after doing his worst and seeing
that it would not help to continue he stopped. When Frederick regained his strength he
fled 7 miles to his master to seek refuge and ask protection, upon hearing his request his
master told him not to trouble him with such stories, and sent him back the next morning.
When Frederick finally returned to Mr. Covey he was deceived into thinking that Mr. Covey
was not angry with him. But when Mr. Covey then attempted to beat him he seized Covey by
the throat and fought him for two hours until Covey gave up. This shows a literal fight
for the rights he deserved.

Yet another example shown by Frederick of slaves being able to resist their masters is by
the sacrifices of his mother to come and see him. Because a method often used by
slaveholders of keeping the slaves weak is to keep their families and loved ones
Continues for 2 more pages >>