Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave Questions and Answers
by Frederick Douglass

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What arguments against slavery did Frederick Douglass make in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?

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A closer reading of Douglass's narrative brings out more intricate details about slavery.

As a child, he suffered from abuse, starvation, and cold. He recounts how slaves would be forced to sleep together in the same room. This clearly points to the miserable conditions that slaves were kept under—a fact that many slaveowners at the time denied. He further states that this experience was quite typical and not unusual.

He also points to the extremely dehumanizing experience of slavery. First, he states that he does not know exactly when he was born. He recalls being separated from his mother at an early age and only ever seeing her four or five times throughout his life. Furthermore, he has no knowledge of who his father was, other than rumors that it was a former master. This gives historians an idea of the real brutality of slavery and how it stripped African Americans of their identity and family.

Douglass makes it clear that slavery was also a mechanism to take away a man's identity....

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