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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass

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What are three examples of how religion influenced Frederick Douglass in his narrative?

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Using examples from "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass", I discussed how he discusses the hypocrisy of religious beliefs and how they affect his life.

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In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass makes several references to religion and its effect on him.  For example, early in the narrative, Douglass challenges the often-misinterpreted section of the Bible about the curse of Ham.  He says that the supposed curse of Ham cannot justify the institution of slavery because there is a multitude of mixed-race children, fathered by their own masters, who are still slaves.  Next, Douglass says that religion does not make a good man and cites several masters and overseers who were particularly cruel even though they claimed to be religious.  Finally, Douglass questions the reasons why God has allowed slavery to continue (even as he pays homage to "divine providence" for his fortunate opportunities). 

At the end of the narrative, Douglass includes a section in which he discusses his views on God and religion.  He says that he is not against religion; however, he does find many contradictions between religious beliefs and reality.

(There are several published editions of Douglass's narrative, and not all have the same page numbers.  Using these ideas, you can find quotations to suit your argument.)

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