ferenczm


Frederick Douglas experienced a life full of tragedies that were not uncommon throughout for a African America slave to experience growing up; but what truly sets him apart from all the rest is that he changed his story, he fought for black rights and became one of the most respected African Americans of his time. If one thinks about it, he beat the system of slavery by learning how to read. Although he came across the miraculous discovery that slave owners keep their power by keeping their slaves uneducated. What really catalyzed his want to become educated and learn to read was his encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Auld. It may have been Mrs. Auld’s offering him reading lessons and the opportunity, or what I think is a more likely cause, Douglas overhearing from Mr. Auld that slaves are slaves because of their inability to read. Its in our blood to spire our oppressors when given the chance, Douglas found the key to the end of slavery and used it. But what really makes his “Narrative” classic, is that it has a “Cinderella” tale to it, where he went from being victimized, to being the voice of anti-slavery movement. It is for these reasons that his “Narrative” is mistaken to be a novel rather than an auto-biography. One could go on to compare it to the African American author Maya Angelu’s “Why The Caged Bird Sings” which was also an autobiography about the hardships of being black, but what is more is that Douglas mentions that the slaves sing cause they’re grieving, much like how a caged bird sings because it too is grieving.

Frontier life in 1800’s saw many changes, an ignorant land that broke the chains of European rule and order and molded America into what we call it today. The belief that America can expand its borders and its ideals coined the term manifest destiny. As the Americans moved farther and farther from the east coast and beyond the frontier, they had to adapt to the stubborn landscape and create a civilization anew. The east coast was made up of mostly British colonies that had no real identity much different then that of the land they broke off from. But as you moved west, you saw America for what it truly was. The People wore moccasins, traveled by horse or Conestoga wagon and stopped at small towns consisting of a saloon, general store, and a motel. Hundreds of these early frontier towns sprung up along America because of the mining industries and the railroads which brought people into a primitive environment, without European influence. The new and untamed landscape brought about a lifestyle mirroring the land they slept on and government rule tried to step in. The start of this government control began in 1821 at the constitution convention in New York which lead to the tide-water region in West Virgina to give the frontier region an equal representation with the tide-water aristocracy. Democracy was on an upsurge in the U.S. and was a result of the East coast fearing that an uncontrolled advance of the frontier would hurt their nation.

In Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzman letter, “Letter to the Spanish Americans”, he acts as a true patriot of the new world. His constant use of “our”, “us” and “we must” all lead to the reader to believe he is giving a speech because of his enthusiasm caused by his enmity towards Spain. Pablo has good reason to be ticked off at Spain because essentially, Spain gave the New World inhabitants the shaft. Now what is interesting to note is that how Pablo references ‘three centuries ago’ over and over again, and because the New World was colonized in the 1500’s, he must have written this letter in the 1800’s. Simon Bolivar was a famous leader during this time period in the 1800’s; who freed six nations from the clutches of the Spanish empire. I believe that Pablo was writing this letter in response to Bolivar because he is trying to spark patriotism within his people so that they could hopefully aid Bolivar in his cause. This letter was carefully written as to remind everyone about how Spain took their pride, and how the other European colonies saw them as an embarrassment. Other forms of inspiration that could have brought about this patriotic letter and revolution could have come from the American Revolution which occurred less than half a century earlier, in1776; where the 13 North American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain.

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