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Characters in the book the giver

7/2/2020 Module 5: Imperialism and Colonialism in the Early Modern Era

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Module 5: Imperialism and Colonialism in the Early Modern Era Week 9: Narrative of the LIfe of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself

Assigned Reading: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass (The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume 2, p. 469 - 530)

Week 9: Goals and Objectives: By the end of Week 9, the student will be able to:

1. Name the four (4) phases of the slave narrative, as evidenced in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself;

2. Recognize the impact of imperialism and colonialism on the United States; 3. Analyze the impact of imperialism and colonialism on the text; and 4. Identify the major characters and events in the text.

Overview: Frederick Douglass's autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself (1845), was published roughly seven years after he escaped slavery and is one of the most popular of all slave narratives. In this work, Douglass details his journey to freedom, hoping to educate Northern white audiences (as well as the general public) about the atrocities of slavery. He was also aiming to generate sympathy and support for the abolitionist movement. This narrative was very successful following its initial publication, and throughout the remainder of his life, Douglass would revise and develop the work into at least six (6) subsequent editions.

In each edition, the Narrative begins with what he knows about his birth and childhood - although there is much that he does not know about his origins. As a child, he witnessed a number of violent acts perpetrated on other slaves (and even his own family) by the overseers, and he acknowledged that his experience was very common to the experiences of other slave children. He is taught to read by Sophia Auld, the wife of ship-builder Hugh Auld - who Douglass is sent to work for as a child - and it is at this point that he decides that education is central to his freedom. Although the lessons are disrupted by Mr. Auld, Douglass continues to learn to read and write.

Overview: When a teenaged Douglass is sent to work for Hugh's brother, Thomas Auld, he is once again reminded of the realities of plantation life. However, having experienced a bit more freedom in Baltimore when he was working for Hugh, he is resistant to bondage and is subsequently sent to Edward Covey - who is known for "breaking" slaves. After running away and being recaptured, Douglass and Mr. Covey engage in a fistfight, and Douglass is sent away again, this time to work as a field hand for William Freedland. The fight with Mr.

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Covey further solidified Douglass's desire for freedom from slavery, and after being allowed to return to Hugh Auld's shipyard to work for money, he is able to plan and execute his escape.

Douglass does not reveal his plan for escape in the first edition of the Narrative in order to protect others; but by the end of the text, he has settled in Massachusetts and married Anna Black, a free black woman he met while still enslaved. He joined William Lloyd Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society, and with Garrison's support, published his Narrative.

Watch the following re-creation of Douglass giving one of his most famous speeches, "What to the Slave is the Fouth of July?":

Major Characters: Frederick Douglass: the narrator, who narrates his journey from slavery to freedom Hugh Auld: the shipbuilder who would unwittiingly give Douglass the opportunity to escape Sophia Auld: Hugh Auld's wife, who first teaches Douglass how to read Edward Covey: the slave over-seer with whom Douglass has a fist-fight Anna Black: Douglass' wife William Lloyd Garrison: the abolitionist who gives Douglass a platform for speaking to abolitionist audiences in speaking out about his experience and later, assisting Douglass in publishing his autobiography

The Four (4) Phases of the Slave Narrative: Phase 1: Dehumanization

Acts of Violence – Murders of slaves by overseer's and slave masters Sexual Abuse – Female slaves were beaten and raped by slave masters Bastardization of the Family Unit – Slaves born to slave masters were still treated as slaves Disregard of Family Relationships—Parents (especially mothers were often separated from their children) Mistreatment/Neglect – Slaves slept on the floor, had little food, etc.

Phase 2: Resolution to Free Oneself

Literacy as freedom Physical escape as freedom

Phase 3: Turning Point/Escape

Fight with Mr. Covey – Important because it shows both men that Douglass is strong and has the spirit to fight back. Douglass is convinced, after this encounter, that his freedom is only a matter of time.

Phase 4: Success

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Reaches freedom; joins Abolitionist Movement Writes autobiography

Imperialism and Colonialism in America: In Frederick Douglass' Narrative, colonialism was most apparent in the descriptions of slavery and its impact on the colonized (slaves). For example, although slaves were not recognized as citizens of the United States but as property of the slave owners, they were forced to adapt to a way of life that was, in earlier times, culturally foreign. By the 19th century, however, most slaves had become accustomed to American culture and traditions, even if only from a marginalized space.

Slavery is perhaps the most significant example of colonialism in American history, followed by the United States' occupation of foreign territories (such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands). The first slaves arrived on American shores, in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; by the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, slavery was a functioning institution in all of the American colonies. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, until its abolition in 1865, slavery was the foundation of Southern economies and plantation-based societies due to the international demand for cotton and tobacco. The rise of industrialism diminished the need for slavery in northern states, and this - along with the growing abolitionist movement - prompted a division between Northern and Southern states, whose economies were still dependent on slave labor. The end of the Civil War, followed by the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, ended slavery in the United States.

What is most ironic about colonialism in the America is that the US was originally a colony of the British, which made Native Americans the colonized, just as African slaves were centuries later. After gaining independence, the US would eventually expand into new territories. For example, after the Mexican-American War in 1846, the US expanded western territories (such as California) into parts of Mexico; Hawaii officially became part of the US in 1898 after its leadership was overthrown by US military forces. Overall, however, the concept of American imperialism has more to do with ideology than with simply gaining territory: since the late 19th/early 20th centuries, the goal has been to establish and control global policies regarding key issues (such as weapons, diplomacy, etc.) using imperialistic means.

Test Your Knowledge: Take the following self-assessment quiz to check your knowledge on the overview of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself:

What's Next: If you have not already done so, read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself (p.517 - 573 in The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Vol.2). After completing the reading, you may begin the activity in the "Week 9" sub-folder. **Remember to mark your progress on the checklist as you complete each task.**

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Good luck!!!

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