By Frederick Douglass
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Extra resources for Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
I considered him as getting entirely the worst end of the bargain; for he had drawn no blood from me, but I had from him.... This battle with Covey,舡 says Douglass, 舠was the turning-point in my career as a slave舡 [emphasis mine]. As a result of the fight, 舠my long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. 舡 Covey never touches him again, and in the four remaining years of his bondage, 舠I had several fights, but was never whipped舡 (p.
But the book also brilliantly performed the aesthetic task of a work of art in depicting how it feels to be a human locked in a struggle against tyrannical odds for freedom and culture; a man seeking a place in a world where no place looks like home. In other words, yes, Douglass was still working those roots. Douglass舗s book lures its reader through the unrelenting power of its narrative line舒perhaps literature舗s most irresistible force. It is driven by impulses evidently built into the reflex and bone structure of Homo sapiens, the animal that wants a story.
Silvery-headed age and sprightly youth, maids and matrons, had to undergo the same indelicate inspection. At this moment, I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and slaveholder. (page 49) Š I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!