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Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave was his first of three autobiographies written about his experiences both during and following his life as a slave It is his Narrative that lays the foundation for not only his following works but for an entire genre The Narrative is Douglass tool for establishing himself as an abolitionist leader as well as an escaped slave While the Narrative does hold much merit as a tale of political struggle it seems to be charged more with the complications of the struggles endured in the attempt to progress on a spiritual level This realm of spiritual development is then countered by the lack of movement on more concrete levels specifically those of a uniform legal liberation and a mental and emotional liberation from slaverys chains which bind the slave and free man alike These opposite forces are in constant struggle with one another making all cases of progress cases of regress as well Progression for Douglass becomes both a form and a cause of the regression that precedes it It is somewhere in the middle of the movement forward and the regression back again that Douglass comes to know himself it is in the midst of this battle for spirituality that he encounters and develops his faith he comes to terms with himself as a man and he comes to terms with himself as not only a man but a black man and an American slave Douglass Narrative is in many parts one that focuses much on physical events of his life It is the reflection upon events in his life as they occurred The physical tangible details are important in the novel because they not only paint pictures of past experiences for the reader but they offer a chronology of his slave experience as a whole which is both visible and comprehensible This allows the reader to vividly see both
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