Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Literary Analysis

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There are several different types of writers classified using criterias based on the reader. According to Vladimir Nabokov, an English professor, a good writer is considered, “as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter” (1036). Nabokov further describes the ideal quality of being a deceiver. Frederick Douglass, author of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, meets Nabokov’s explanation of a good writer in three of the four ways: being a deceiver, teacher, and storyteller. First of all, Nabokov states, “every great writer is a great deceiver” (1035). Douglass uses this quality effectively throughout his story. When he explains his experience, he only provides the horrific events to strengthen his view against…show more content…
Nabokov specifically explains the role of a teacher is not only for moral education but also for direct knowledge (1036). Douglass includes all of his masters’ names and describes the life of a slave in depth. “Their yearly clothing consisted of two coarse linen shirts, one pair of linen trousers, like the shirts, one jacket, one pair of trousers for winter, made of coarse negro cloth, one pair of stockings, and one pair of shoes; the whole of which could not have cost more than seven dollars” (Douglass 23). This statement is eye opening, and it teaches the terrible conditions the slaves had to go through during their life in slavery. Furthermore, he explains the actual meaning of the slaves singing. Most people would believe singing would imply joy because in modern time it is used to express happiness; however, he justifies slaves singing to express their sorrow. “The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island, as the singing of the slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion” (Douglass 27). Without the direct knowledge provided from Douglass, one could not know or imagine the actuality of life as a

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