Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself | Critical Essay by John Sekora

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.
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Critical Essay by John Sekora

SOURCE: "Comprehending Slavery: Language and Personal History in Douglass' Narrative of 1845," in CLA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, December, 1985, pp. 157-70.

In the following essay, Sekora argues that Douglass's Narrative is not simply autobiography, but rather the "first comprehensive, personal history of American slavery."

The author is therefore the more willing—nay, anxious, to lay alongside of such (pro-slavery) arguments the history of his own life and experiences as a slave, that those who read may know what are some of the characteristics of that highly favored institution, which is sought to be preserved and perpetuated.

—Austin Steward

Because it is one of the most important books ever published in America, Frederick Douglass' Narrative of 1845 has justly received much attention. That attention has been increasing for a generation at a rate parallel to the growth in interest in autobiography as...

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This section contains 4,222 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Sekora