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How does Frederick Douglass establish his identity in the book, "Narrative of the Life...

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toniadams | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 14, 2010 at 3:18 PM via web

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How does Frederick Douglass establish his identity in the book, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass-An American slave"?


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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:59 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that one way in which Douglass establishes his identity is through his staunch opposition to slavery. As the book opens, the reader is made aware of a life in bondage as one that demands outcry and the highest form of resistance.  Through this, Douglass' identity emerges.  The narrative is one of resistance, active and thorough.  The events depicted are meant to arouse the anger of the reader, as it awakened consciousness in him.  The thoughts present and thoroughly detailed are ones where Douglass understands the evil nature of slavery and progresses through different levels of deconstructing it.  In terms of personal identity, Douglass' depiction is one where there is a genuine outrage at why human beings treat others in such a despicable manner.  In terms of political identity, Douglass is open about how the presence of slavery constitutes America's "original sin," one where the promises and hopes of a nation collide with its reality.

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