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What are the suggestions the author makes for the people of the United States?

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randinmalone | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted June 30, 2012 at 9:46 PM via web

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What are the suggestions the author makes for the people of the United States?

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

Posted July 1, 2012 at 12:06 AM (Answer #1)

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The most pressing suggestion that Douglass makes to Americans is to stand up and reject the institution of slavery that dominates the Southern part of the United States.  At the time of publication, Douglass was aware of the growing abolitionist movement in the nation.  His work serves as a zealous advocacy to reject the institution of slavery because of its intrinsic cruelty and its negation of the promises and possibilities that America represents.  Along these lines, Douglass is suggesting that the issue of slavery is a human rights issue, and not a political one that can be negotiated away through political "horse- trading."  Douglass recognizes that initiatives are being put forth to address the slavery issue as a political one that can be bargained away.  Douglass is suggesting that this is not the case in that slavery is such a strong violation of individual rights that it cannot be negotiated through discourse.  Rather, one must accept it as a universal evil and stand against it.  Douglass' suggestions to Americans is to recognize that their nation is guilty of major atrocities in the name of slavery and that his narrative is but one of many that must be acknowledged and recognized by more people in its suggestion that slavery be abolished without hesitation.

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