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Frederick Douglass

             Frederick Douglass's "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,"" tells the story of Frederick Douglass and his life as a slave growing up on a plantation in the 1830-1830's. This story enables the reader to view slavery from a totally different prospective, for an actual slave. This is very hard to come by, since most slaves never would learn how to read or write. But Douglass's work shows firsthand the hardships of slavery, and how he overcame his challenges to become a free, educated, black man who's books are still read today. In writing this piece, Frederick Douglass wanted to "shine the light- on slavery, revealing the horrific things which are bestowed upon the innocent slaves. The impoverished lifestyle, mistreatment, and underprivileged conditions were all provided as intentional mistreatment to slaves by their slave owners. This portrays the inhumanity and fraudulent activity of the treatment of slaves. The intention of the slaveholder was to dehumanize the slaves. The reason for this was to prevent the slaves from becoming restless, disobedient, rebellious, or wanting more in life (such as freedom). The slaves were worth money and prosperity for the slave owners. Thus, they did not want slaves to become discontented and a threat to the production and income of the plantation. The slave owner's method to maintain contentedness was to keep the slave thoughtless. As Douglass writes, "to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one-. The slaves were not to ever realize that their life was bad or could be improved upon.
             This story begins with Douglass discussing his beginnings. He did not know how old he was, which was very common for slaves. He also did not know who his father was, though he knew it was a white man. It was rumored that his master was his father, but he never knew for sure. Young Frederick was separated from his mother when he was very young.

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