Define Frederick Douglass

The Frederick Douglass biography is an important book because he demonstrates how big you can go with what you have. He was a slave born from the roots of poverty and pain, he sprouted wings to fly like a freeman. Frederick not only defied all odds of being an uneducated, unsuccessful person, he redefined the impossible to possible so that people can believe or follow. Frederick wrote words of change and challenge to tell the world if he could do something as difficult as what he did, anyone could do the same if they gave it a shot. Frederick was only one of the few voices that decided to stand out, you can imagine what a hundred could do. His book explained that achieving something isn’t going from point A to to point B, it takes struggle, anger, happiness. Point B is really point Z and you have to go through many situations then you start all over because you made a mistake or you doubted yourself, you don’t give in, you keep going and going until you reach your goal only to start back at where you started. I think that the main theme isn’t to remember the slavery back then, but to understand what it means to strive for something great and unreachable.

The passages from pages 68 and 69 probably impacted Frederick’s life just as much as him learning to read. Frederick’s slave master ordered Frederick to take care of some horses. Mr. Covey walks in with a rope and attempts to tie Frederick up. Frederick had enough he was going to stop this from happening, even if it costs him his life. Frederick resists, he takes control of the moment and seizes Mr. Covey by his throat. Mr. Covey was extremely surprised that Frederick had resisted him. This action was punishable by a painful slow death but Frederick was already committed. Mr. Covey called for Hughes, an assistant. Hughes came running in, Frederick kicks Hughes in his guts and Hughes lies on the ground in pain. Mr. Covey screams out to Bill who walks in, “Take him off me! Take him off me!” (Frederick, pg69) Bill declines what Covey said. After countless hours of fighting and struggling, Mr. Covey realized he lost, if this event went public his reputation and job would be on the line. So he leaves Frederick alone, as long as Frederick did the same.

Frederick Douglass and the slave breaker. (1970, January 01). Retrieved March 22, 2017, from

Before these things happened, Frederick was under 16 years old still questioning his life, about how unfair it was that he was born into a life of being less, when he was just as capable as the common white person. Frederick was searching for an opportunity in life. He accepted the fact that he was lesser until this particular moment. After these events Frederick understood that people were just as afraid as he was. He felt an itch that he never felt before, this itch gave him inspiration, inspiration to move towards a life of freedom. He was never the same after this. Frederick understood power, he didn’t abuse it and he used it wisely as he wrote, “I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me.” (Frederick, pg69).

The language used in these passages is very violent. This violence is used in a positive form, used to give the readers a visual view. What he wrote was straight forward, not using so much description but enough to lead an image. Frederick wanted people to see not only the action in the passages but also the justice that was long due. These words were like Frederick finally getting to wash his hands that were covered with filth and dirt. At the end of all this fighting Frederick described how it felt to be resurrected from a deep hole so dark that he couldn’t see the light from the surface anymore. He expressed how it felt to finally feel true satisfaction, “It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood.” (Frederick, pg69).

Fighting this slave breaker was a big deal in his world. He took what he learned from this and he used it. Although he was set up for failure, he didn’t let that surpass him. He was driven by a curious mind that lead him to think about how he could achieve the finer things for his life. He was stopped by nothing, even death. Overall, Frederick was just a person who made smart decisions that got him where he needed to be.

Douglass, F. (2009). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511920417
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