Rachel's Reviews > The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American ... by Frederick Douglass
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May 07, 12

Read in April, 2012

Reviewed for www.compassbookratings.com


Overall Review:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an Amerian Slav gives an up-close and personal look at the world of slavery. Famous orator Frederick Douglass not only details the horrible abuse and living conditions he experienced as a slave, but presents additional anedotes about what life was like for those he worked alongside. Douglass also calls attention to the mental agony slaves experienced and the hypocritical nature of the so-called Christian slaveholders. With his remarkable ability to present facts in an honest yet heartfelt way, readers will be touched by Douglass' extraordinary story.

This Barnes and Noble Classic also includes a short biography and timeline of Douglass' life, an introduction by Robert G. O'Meally, a preface by famous abolitionalist William Lloyd Garrison, as well as a comment and question section at the end of the book.


Content Analysis:
Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations, 9 mild obscenities, 7 derogatory names.

Violence/Gore: Masters verbally threaten their slaves; a character engages in a fist fight with his master and both receive non-life threatening injuries; slaves are whipped, beaten and struck with boards; a slave is whipped and beaten to death; blood and gore from the whippings are often detailed; two slaves are shot point blank in the head; a slave's windpipe is crushed, leading to subsequent death.

Sex/Nudity: Slaves are frequently stripped naked before being whipped; when clothing ran out, slave children went naked; sexual activity between masters and their female slaves is reported; slaves are bought to serve as "breeders" despite one slave already being married.


Mature Subject Matter:
Racial conflict, religious conflict, death, separation, rape, physical, emotional and verbal abuse, and the ethical nature of slavery.


Alcohol / Drug Use:
Masters are typically described as "being drunkards". Slaves would drink on Christmas Day.
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