Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

At the end of the selection, Douglass distinguishes between being "a slave in form" and "a slave in fact" How does this distinction support the theme of this selection?

What do they mean by a slave in form and a slave in fact?

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“A slave in form” refers to Douglass’s legal designation as a slave. “A slave in fact” refers to the lack of pride and self-determination he had as a human being. This dichotomy is played out through the novel. Douglass is not only physically shackled by his designation but emotionally shackled to the identity he is given.