Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Explain the metaphor implied in this line: "It [the battle between Frederick Douglass and Covey] rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom." How is this metaphor related to the idea of rebirth?

from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

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Embers are what ignite a fire. When Douglas battles Covey, he feels like a man again. From feeling dead inside, Douglass feels the fires of yearning freedom in his belly again.