“The Story of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is a reflective essay written by Frederick Douglass. This is an interesting and thought-provoking work that offers a great deal of insight into a great person. The author begins the essay with a history lesson on how Douglass was able to take a story that was about slavery and put it in a more positive light, which allows the reader to see him as a hero who changed his whole life for the better.
After telling us what kind of background Frederick Douglass had, the writer goes on to describe a number of the events he experienced. He explains how he was forced to flee his home because of his status as a slave. This was during the time when he was very young, but it is a story that captures the author’s attention because he says, “as a result of this ordeal I have never been able to forget, and I have kept a diary of all that occurred.”
The author explains how his background as a slave influenced the way in which he grew up, as well as the way in which he lived his life. One example of this is in describing the experience of being separated from his wife, which was due to the fact that she had a mistress. Douglass writes, “I never could forget the moment I learned that I was free. I felt like one of those boys in a fairy tale who flies through the air from one castle to another and sees the happy land of liberty before his eyes, the land of my dreams.”
The writer also describes the times in which Douglass made major changes to his life. One such example of this is when he went out and bought a pair of shoes that were larger than the size he was accustomed to wearing. After some time in which the shoes wore out, he decided that he would like to buy another pair, which he did.
The next part of the essay, “The Story of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” talks about the various ways that Douglass was able to change his whole life for the better, including how he became the first black member of the United States Congress. While he was a slave, the writer writes, “I saw in the past that men had been free because of the help they received, and that they also were slaves in consequence of the way in which they received it.”
The writer continues his narrative by explaining how Douglass was so much more than just a slave, but a good one. He says that he was able to go far in life because he had the perseverance to make improvements on his own. This includes being the first black member of the House of Representatives and then of the Senate.
Another interesting fact that the essay offers is that Douglass was never married, which the writer says that he would be very happy to share in the conclusion of the essay. The writer also writes, “if anyone is thinking that perhaps I am exaggerating this to make me seem like an outstanding hero, let me assure you that I am as sincerely as I can be proud to say that I am not exaggerating, that Douglass married two or three times, and had several children by two women.”
The writer ends his reflective essay with a closing quote that offers many insights into the man that Douglass was. He writes, “As you read in my life, I would hope you will be encouraged to believe me to be a man, a patriot, an honest man, and most of all a good citizen, that I was never anything less than that, and that I will never be anything less than that.” I enjoyed reading about this essay. It really showed that Douglass was a real person and a good one at that.