Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Escaping Slavery: The Ultimate Choice for Frederick Douglass 11th Grade

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Douglass documents his life as a slave and eventual escape. Although he does not offer a timeline or name the people involved in his escape, he describes his feelings regarding the subject. Douglass conveys his attempt to escape from bondage in the face of evil and almost certain death by using rhetorical strategies to ensure that readers can identify with his story. While most readers cannot relate to Douglass’ struggle - which is beyond full comprehension for 21st-century readers- he makes it accessible by providing clear images and widely known anecdotes. Douglass argues that an escape from slavery is a terrifying, and dangerous feat that greatly lacks certainty of success, but he would still prefer to take on these obstacles than remain hopelessly enslaved.

Douglass argues that escaping slavery creates a multitude of fears and obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. He vividly describes the obstacles he and his fellow slaves must face in order to attain freedom. He writes, “Now it was starvation, causing us to eat our own flesh;—now we were contending with the waves, and were drowned;—now we were overtaken, and torn to pieces by the fangs of the...

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