Literary Analysis :
Narrative of the Life of
Fredrick Douglass
Jessica Holmes
South University Online
ENG2003 S01 - World Literature II
Week 1, Assignment 3
Stephanie Allen

Essay: Literary Analysis
Narrative of the Life of
Fredrick Douglass

Fredrick Douglass , who believed he was around the age of 27 years old, was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland. Fredrick was born to a mother whom was a colored slave and his father was a white man that was suspected to be h is master. After his mother was sold to a gentleman 12 miles away from him, his life began as an American slave. Fredrick Douglass wrote his true and at times horrific tales of his life as a slave to support of the abolishment of slavery through his many arguments against it such as the feeling of being deprive d of knowledge or education that the white children were given, that crimes against colored people were not considered crimes or taken as serious as those against white people, and the level of cruelty that the masters allowed the slave-breakers to unleash against the slaves for any reason they see fit.
Fredrick Douglass felt that he, as a slave, was deprived of the same equality of that of the white people regarding his knowledge and education. Fredrick did not know of his own age. He only knew his estimated age. He was not allowed to ask his masters any information about himself or his past. To his knowledge, if he was to ask about himself that punishment would be handed out to him. Fredrick was also bringing to light the fact the slaves were not allowed to have an y type of education, and that " Their minds had been starved by their cruel masters. They had been shut up into mental darkness." The slaves were not allowed to read, they were only allowed to do what their masters told them to do and that was the bottom line. The masters believed that the slaves were not equals and did not deserve the same opportunities. Fredrick told his story of one of his master' s wife trying to teach his how to read and her husband found out about it and convinced her that it was wrong for slaves to be educated. So the more Fredrick wanted to learn to read, the more enraged she became towards Fredrick.
In Chapter IV, Fredrick Douglass said, "I speak advisedly when I say this, that killing a slave, or any colored person, in Talbot County, Maryland, is not treated as a crime, either by the courts or the community" ( Muhner , 2014). He speaks of a personal experience he told of how his wife's young teenager cousin was brutally murdered by Mr. Giles' wife . Mrs. Giles had broken the young girl's nose and breastbone by beating her with a stick. The reason Mrs. Giles beat her was because the sleep deprived girl had fallen asleep and did not awake when Mrs. Giles' baby had started crying. So, Mrs. Giles lounged out of bed at her, beating her to death with that stick she grabbed. But unfortunately, even though an arrest warrant was issued, Mrs. Giles was never arrested or brought to court over this crime.
Fredrick also brought to light the level of cruelty that the masters had unleashed upon the slaves for any reason they see fit. He knows firsthand the level of cruelty that the masters' use towards the slaves. When h e was with his master , Colonel Lloyd, his Aunt Hester was whipped for going out one night and being in the presence of Ned Roberts. Fredrick's description of the events as having no top on, hanging on a hook by the ropes that were keeping her hands tied together. Colonel Lloyd' s choice of weapon was the heavy cow skin strap. With every lashing, she was given by Colonel Lloyd, Fredrick remembered the shrieking she let out and how Colonel Lloyd focused more on the areas where she was bleeding out from. Fredrick remember how horrific it was for him and how he hid in a closet until the morning fearing that he would be next in