Summary: The Case Of Fredrick Douglass

1351 Words6 Pages
It is easy for people that live together to develop similar ideals and personality traits due to the fact that they are brought up the same way and influenced by the same environment. Once a person departs from home, their principles mix with other people and form what they believe is their own set of morals or standards. What is often unseen is the fact that their morals are not simply their own morals at all. In the case of Fredrick Douglass and other slaves during the 1800s, they neither possess unique perspectives nor individuality. Instead, they believe and act the way that slave-owners deem acceptable for a slave. Douglass begins his life without identity and then, over his many years as a slave, says to have found it. However, it is…show more content…
Babies were stripped from their mothers immediately succeeding birth and forced to grow up without any adult figure. Douglass did not know his own age nor did he really know his father and explains that this is “the wish of most masters within [his] knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant” (I, 517). Owners believe ignorance to be key because the more ignorant a slave is, the less likely it is that they defy the overseers or run away. This conforms a slave into a person of least importance and places them on the earth to work and then die. As a young boy on a plantation, his lose of family molds him into a boy with less emotional attachment to things and people. As the story goes on, it is obvious that Douglass was incognizant of those possible feelings and, as a result, had a stoic demeanor when told that we would be moving away from his brother and sister. As a result of his conforming image, it gives him the opportunity to experience new people with differing personalities and…show more content…
There is a transformation of Douglass from a slave to a human being. This comes from his recognition of hopeful morals seen in other white people. He fights Covey and beats him at his own punishing game. This shows Douglass that the ability to overcome malicious power is key to his identity and freedom. He recalls that “the departed self-confidence [inspired him] again with a determination to be free” (X, 549). Douglass takes his learned qualities from former and current owners and creates his own combination including control, subtleness, power, knowledge, and hope. The young boys that teach Douglass how to write “hope that something would occur by which [he] might be free” (VII, 534). This contributes to the hope aspect of Douglass’ mindset and deepens his drive to find freedom for himself. Without the encouragement and sympathy from the young white boys, Douglass may have believed that the fight he was pursuing was a loosing battle consisting of a single black slave and the population of power. This, instead, showed him that all people do not wish him to be a slave forever and that he is supported in his

    More about Summary: The Case Of Fredrick Douglass

      Open Document