How does Douglass develop a theme of spirituality in Chapter 10?

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

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I think that the idea of spirituality is something present in Chapter 10 of Douglass' work in the extreme level of pain and suffering he must endure.  There is a spiritual dimension to this chapter because it shows how Douglass must endure one last test through his interactions with Covey before he achieves redemption.  In this, the spiritual dimension is evident in how there is intense testing in order to achieve a spiritual notion of redemption and salvation.  While Douglass had endured unspeakable cruelty prior to Covey, it seems that his battles with Covey represented one of the last hurdles that Douglass had to endure before he could begin to understand some notion of liberation from his predicament.  At the same time, Covey represents a force of negation, something that would represent the embodiment of evil.  It is through this battle that Douglass must face down the inherent evil that slavery is once and for all.  In defeating Covey, there is a spiritual dimension of good defeating evil, the force of life overcoming the force of negation.  In this resolution, one can see a theme of spirituality developed.

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