In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, what attitude does Frederick Douglass have about slavery?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass clearly believes that slavery degrades the humanity of both slaves and slave masters. Douglass relays the story of his experience with Mr. Covey, and how during his time on Covey's plantation, Douglass lived in fear of Covey's temper and abuse. Douglass says that in his eventual fight with Mr. Covey that he became a man, which implies that before this event, Douglass did not regard himself as a man. The reader may infer that the horrors of slavery degraded his sense of self and his humanity. Similarly, Douglass says that slavery not only hurts slaves, but also slave masters. Douglass points out the hypocritical whites who use religion as a way to justify keeping slaves, and Douglass says that these people have lost their way in terms of their religious faith. Douglass argues that white slave masters misinterpret the Bible to support their cruel behavior, which is degrading to their sense of humanity and decency.

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