Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Essay

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In the following essay, Rothenberg asserts that Douglass' Narrative ' 'contains an unwritten text of folklore... which adds greatly to the strength of the narrative."

Much has been written on Frederick Douglass and his triumphant escape from slavery. His prose work, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave is considered to be a masterpiece of personal autobiography and documentation of the' 'peculiar institution" known as American slavery. Almost every article written about Douglass deals with the written text as Douglass presents it, either in terms of historical accuracy or as some form of reflection upon the events leading up to the Civil War. What does not get discussed is Douglass' unwritten text, the one that he does not consciously write but which is there nonetheless. Frederick Douglass' Narrative contains an unwritten text of folklore that the reader, and probably Douglass himself, may not be...

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This section contains 4,200 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Study Guide
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