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From Frederick Douglass’ “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” what pro-slavery arguments does Douglass refer to or hint at in his narrative? How does he counter the various pro-slavery arguments? Provide quotes and cites to support your assertions.
Part 2: What themes (messages, lessons, ideas, or concepts) or motifs (recurrent thematic elements in the work) did you notice within Douglass’ narrative? What do you consider to be the key passages in the narrative? Why are these passages so significant?
Ignorance as a Tool of Slavery
“Douglass’s Narrative shows how white slaveholders perpetuate slavery by keeping their slaves ignorant. At the time Douglass was writing, many people believed that slavery was a natural state of being. They believed that blacks were inherently incapable of participating in civil society and thus should be kept as workers for whites. The Narrative explains the strategies and procedures by which whites gain and keep power over blacks from their birth onward. Slave owners keep slaves ignorant of basic facts about…”