His oratory and extraordinary achievements formed a legacy that expands his influence until this date, making Frederick Douglass a role model for all generations. Douglass Narrative shows how white slaveholders preserve slavery by keeping their slaves ignorant. Many people believed slavery were a normal thing, They believed blacks were not capable of participating in civil society because of their heritage and should be Just kept as workers for whites. Slave owners would never tell slaves basic facts about themselves such as their birthrate or their paternity in order to keep them ignorant.
As slave children grew older, they were prevented from learning how to read and write, as literacy could make them self-sufficient and capable. Slaveholders feared that literacy would spark questions about the whites keeping them enslaved. Also, slaves could not write or tell their side of the slavery story to other parts of America because they were kept illiterate. One of the most noticeable themes in the narrative involves the association of literacy with freedom. The acquisition of one caused his desire for the other.
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In occasions, he had regrets about his acquired knowledge because he still didn’t have the ability to change his status as slave, which made him feel more miserable than ever. However, Douglass ability to tell his story in his own words definitely contradicted the commonly held belief at the time that slaves were incapable of communicating through the standard conventions of American literature. Douglass uncertain relationship to Christianity is another important theme of his story.
The narrative exposed the falseness of individual Christians whose treatment of slaves was cruel and inhumane, these proclaimed Christians, with a few exceptions, organized and supported slavery, and even claimed that God sanctioned it. Douglass believed that the more religious the master, the crueler he would be, and claimed that of all the slaveholders that he met, religious slaveholders were the worst. The social Journey Douglass took during his lifetime continues to inspire lessons in life to modern Americans.
If someone can achieve so much in a position where Douglass was, perhaps our own dreams and goals are within reach. Douglass’ words, images and heritage thrive in history and popular culture. Douglass was willing to dictate his life to struggle and agitate for the abolition of slavery, and the cause of civil rights as well. He believed that without struggle, there is no progress. That is why Douglass remains at the forefront of the American consciousness.