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

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In The narrative of frederick Douglas: An American Slave, i have trouble with my thesis that should focous on what douglas wants to have happen in the US after writting this book: what is the authors main idea that he wants readers to know?    

Expert Answers info

lschertz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write39 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and Social Sciences

Frederick Douglass wanted to people to realize that knowledge is power.  He consistantly weaved his writing around to make this point: slavery is a result of ignorance, and with knowledge, slavery could be eliminated.

Douglass pointed out in his narrative that white slave owners kept slaves ignorant, because as long as they didn't know anything, they couldn't know anything. In other words, without knowledge, they would not know of the outside world, of freed slaves, of free black men, of ways to escape, of rights and responsibilities.

Many white people lived in ignorance as well, Frederick Douglass noted. They believed that slavery was simply the way of life; black people were dumb and slow and there was nothing better for them than being a slave.  So Frederick Douglass wanted black people to realzie that, if they became knowledgable and educated, they would prove to white people that this wasn't simply 'the way it was.'

I suggest you focus your thesis around Douglass' cry for knowledge as power among black people.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial