Frederick Douglass, born the slave Frederick Bailey in ~1817, details his most incredible biography through first person narration. He moved around from farm to farm and eventually arrived in Baltimore when his latter name and being started to take shape. It was in Baltimore under Master Hugh when Douglass diligently taught himself the invaluable skills of reading and writing. These skills later became most fundamental in his escape to the north. Being nothing more than a white man?s property Douglass gets shuffled back to the farm life through a year of deaths and subsequent estate transfers.
Finding himself under the control of one Mr. Covey, slaveholder for Master Thomas, it is here that I find the most interesting points in the story.
Mr. Covey was one of Douglass?s harshest provider of violence and abuse. Now approximately 16 years of age, Douglass begins his arduous battle towards mental and physical freedom. I find this a most notable point in the story because Douglass himself records his owns thoughts, ?This battle with Mr.
Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave? It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free? (Douglass p 43).
The mention of how slaves are allowed (or forced) to pass Holiday?s was most interesting as well. During holiday?s slaves are encouraged to drink in excess. This allows the slaveholder to dupe the slaves into perceiving freedom as a drunk-fest that may or may not be worth it in the morning. Although the slave?s believes this to be the ?most free? time of his life, the slaveholder is still very much in control unbeknownst to the slaves.
A Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass Essay. General Publishing Company, Toronto, ON, 1995. .