The theme in Douglass's The Heroic Slave is an obvious one—heroism and bravery. The story focuses on the pursuits and triumphs of a slave who undertakes all sorts of acts of bravery to liberate himself and those around him. Douglass's point in the story is to embolden slaves to take charge and act bravely to thrust off the shackles of slavery and also to enshrine these brave slaves as people to respect and revere, hoping to stir up abolitionist ideas throughout the nation.
Madison Washington is the main character of Douglass's story, and he is the titular heroic slave—doing miraculous and brave feats. First, he escapes from his master and flees to Canada. Having left his wife in slavery, he returns back to the plantation to rescue her, staging a daring escape. Unfortunately, his wife is shot and killed, and he is captured and enslaved once more.
Returning to his fellow slaves, he is sent on a slave ship, on which he stages a mutiny. The slaves on board overthrow the crew and reroute...
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