Thu 30 Nov 2006
In exploring Frederick Douglass’s writing, I am astounded at the level of clarity and the level of complexity in which he wrote. For a slave to write in such manner contradicts his role as a slave. The most astonishing aspect of Frederick Douglass’s writing was his status as a slave. “How a slave, deliberately kept illiterate, came to be able to write his own story so eloquently in an important part of the process of a slave becoming a man which the book chronicles.”(995) If Frederick Douglass taught himself knowledge and literacy, then he proved himself to everyone that he was not a “slave” but a man. Also Frederick Douglass was an eloquent spokesperson for African- Americans during his time. In Frederick Douglass’s text, as he told his story of his life and described his journey to the north, his writing spoke for him. Because Frederick Douglass was a black man escaping to North during the Civil War time, he personally could not bring reform. However, Frederick Douglass’s words could. He then established several newspapers such as Douglass Monthly and The New National Era. Douglass now turned to a life as a black journalist using his words in such a way to bring about justice and reform. In looking at Frederick Douglass and his status as a African-American, he has some similarities with the great Anne Bradstreet and her time. Anne Bradstreet was silenced primarily because of her sex just like Frederick Douglass was insignificant because of his race. However, both these people in their respected times required literature as a way of expression. Also Frederick Douglass and Anne Bradstreet both realized they had extreme opposition. Anne Bradstreet wrote in a modest tone while Frederick Douglass fled to the North.