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My Bondage and My Freedom

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Jacob Opat

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of My Bondage and My Freedom

My Bondage and My Freedom
By: Frederick Douglass

Overview of Story
Frederick Douglas writes about his childhood when he was a slave. Frederick deals with many internal conflicts on the subject as to why some people are born into freedom while he was born into slavery. Through the process of finding himself and find reasoning within the world, he finds sanction in education and reading. He wants nothing more than to be educated but at times, finds this very hard when his once caring and loving mistress ridicules and discourages him for his actions.
Author's Purpose
The purpose of the story is to show how Fredrick struggled as a child dealing with internal conflicts of self-worth and external conflicts of not being granted a proper education.
Importance to American Literature
Quick View of Douglass's Life
 Born on a Maryland plantation in 1818
 Learned to read and write as a slave in Baltimore
 Escaped to Massachusetts to be free
 Spoke publicly in 1841 for the 1st time
 Moved to England to gain support toward abolition
 Published My Bondage and My Freedom in 1855
 Became Lincoln’s adviser and the US minister to Haiti

Realism Story

Genre of the Story
Autobiography
Frederick uses the 1st person to describe his own life and childhood.
Explanations for Purpose
Fredrick writes about his chats with his neighborhood friends and tell them that he wants nothing more to be free just as they are and often asks them if he is worthy of such freedom. He also writes how his mistress has changed and often punishes him if he is caught reading. Despite this, he continues to read and takes on spelling lessons from the neighborhood kids in exchange for bread.
Literary Devices
Similes-
"(His mistress) had set her face as a flint against my learning to read by any means."
"(His mistress) treating me as a thing destitute of a moral or an intellectual nature."
"Her abuse of me fell upon me like the blows of the false prophet upon his ass."
Metaphors-
"(Joining the family) was the abode of happiness and contentment."
"This knowledge opened my eyes to the horrible pit, and revealed the teeth of the frightful dragon that was ready to pounce upon me, but it opened no way for my escape."
Full transcript