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What are the relevant social aspects in this book?

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randinmalone | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:35 AM via web

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What are the relevant social aspects in this book?

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

Posted July 19, 2012 at 3:02 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the most important social aspects of Douglass' work is the idea of how race constructs all social relations in the slave owning world of the South.  Douglass does not mince words in how being Black causes a profound change in every aspect of life.  Opportunity, abuse, life, and death are all predicated upon the color of one's skin.  The fundamental difference between Covey and Douglass is one of skin color.  The social dynamics that govern this are profound as Douglass is attempting to bring forth the idea that slavery's justifications come down to power and skin color is determinant in assessing where an individual is in such a relationship.  For Douglass, the issue of color is the social demarcation where everything else falls into place.  Douglass sees class as a part of the social configuration of the time, but the reality is that the most relevant social element that defines one's sense of being and consciousness is the issue of race.  Where one is in racial identity determines their life and this becomes a very profound social element of Douglass' work.

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