Rosemarie's Reviews > The Classic Slave Narratives

The Classic Slave Narratives by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
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Dec 20, 2010

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Read from October 28 to December 04, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a powerful story about a young African slave born on 1818. He was born into slavery as a young child and separated from his mother. Little did he know about his mother and only saw her a few times in the dark as she came to visit him once in a while. His mother died when he was very young. After reading this I felt a stronger connection to the aspect of slavery. This story touched me emotionally because it changes my view on how slavery isn't just a regular method of othering. I didn't understand the true roots of it though. Frederick Douglass struggles from wanting aspire freedom. At different points in the book he feels depressed on what he is (a slave). Sometimes he stops believing and thinks he will be a slave for life. Douglass' soon finds out being educated is the key to freedom. This becomes a difficult task for him because he encounters many obstacles on his way to freedom. I love how Henry Louis Gates Jr. put multiple stories of different slaves into one book. I'm also glad that in the end Douglass reaches his goal. Sometimes it does get boring to read but if you're interested in the history of slavery and its true foundation then this would be the book for you! Many themes are in this story such as othering, equality, identity, and etc.

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