Give the gift of audiobooks this season with a prepaid gift subscription
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Unabridged)
Give as a gift
3 hours 58 minutes
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass - is an 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by African-American orator and former slave Frederick Douglass during his time in Lynn, Massachusetts. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States.
Douglass begins by explaining that he does not know the date of his birth (he later chose February 14, 1818), and that his mother died when he was 7 years old. He has very few memories of her (children were commonly separated from their mothers), only of the rare nighttime visit. He thinks his father is a white man, possibly his owner. At a very early age, he sees his Aunt Hester being whipped. Douglass details the cruel interaction that occurs between slaves and slaveholders, as well as how slaves are supposed to behave in the presence of their masters. Douglass says that fear is what kept many slaves in forced servitude, for when they told the truth they were punished by their owners.
At this point in the Narrative, Douglass is moved to Baltimore, Maryland. This move is rather important for him because he believes that if he had not been moved, he would have remained a slave his entire life. He even starts to have hope for a better life in the future. He also discusses his new mistress, Mrs. Sophia Auld, who begins as a very kind woman but eventually turns cruel.
Douglass learns the alphabet and how to spell small words from this woman, but her husband, Mr. Auld, disapproves and states that if slaves could read, they would not be fit to be slaves, being unmanageable and sad. Upon hearing why Mr. Auld disapproves of slaves being taught how to read, Douglass realizes the importance of reading and the possibilities that this skill could help him. He takes it upon himself to learn how to read and learn all he can, but at times, this newfound skill torments him. Douglass then gains an understanding of the word abolition and develops the idea to run away to the North. He also learns how to write and how to read well.
When Douglass is ten or eleven, his master dies and his property is left to be divided between the master's son and daughter. The slaves are valued along with the livestock, causing Douglass to develop a new hatred of slavery. He feels lucky when he is sent back to Baltimore to live with the family of Master Hugh.
He is then moved through a few situations before he is sent to St. Michael's. His regret at not having attempted to run away is evident, but on his voyage he makes a mental note that he traveled in the North-Easterly direction and considers this information to be of extreme importance. For some time, he lives with Master Thomas Auld who is particularly cruel, even after attending a Methodist camp. Douglass is pleased when he eventually is lent to Mr. Covey for a year, simply because he would be fed. Mr. Covey is known as a 'negro-breaker', who breaks the will of slaves.
Biography & Memoir
History & Culture
1 book added to cart
Narrative of the Life of Frederic...
© Copyright 2011 - 2023 Storytel Audiobooks USA LLC. All Rights Reserved.