TA: Alex Bonus
Part V– Douglass
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.there is a passage that best contained the major themes, how it played in the book overall, and how imagery and rhetoric related to the passage’s themes. The Major themes that were contained in the passage was human needs, life of the mind, and the effects of slavery.
The passage was when Auld rented Douglass for one year to Edward Covey, a man known for “breaking” slaves because Auld considered Douglass as unmanageable. Covey manages, in the first six months, to work and whip all the spirit out of Douglass. Douglass becomes a brutish man, no longer interested in reading or freedom, capable only of resting from his injuries and exhaustion. The turning point comes when Douglass resolves to fight back against Covey. The two men have a two‑hour fight, after which Covey never touches Douglass again.
The first theme, human needs, was contained in the passage because what Frederick Douglass wanted or needed from Covey and all his previous or current masters was the freedom of his mind and body. He wanted to speak his mind of how cruel his masters were, but as stated in the previous passages, he couldn’t because he or any other slaves would get beaten for saying anything negative about their master. So out of fear, he and many slaves have to lie to themselves and speak of only positive things about their masters for if anyone was to ask them. The freedom of his body was heavily wanted from Covey because ever since the day Douglass went to work for him, Douglass would always get beaten. So, Douglass have no freedom of allowing what happens to his body. The way the part of this theme played in the book overall was that ev...