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Published: 24-10-2019

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Frederick Proves Environment's Impact on Moral Development

In My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass, the setting plays a monumental role in the development of the story, elucidating how an individual’s atmosphere can be nurturing or detrimental to his or her moral development. Douglass describes information of the areas he lived all through his life and the items he seasoned both as a slave and as a totally free man. Not only did setting influence Douglass’ moral development, it also affected his special outlook on life, which led him to attain incredible items against the odds for his time and location.

In the beginning of the autobiography, Douglass depicts his early childhood living with his grandparents. He describes how he is a slave, even though he did not know it at the time, and how his grandmother is one as properly. Regardless of their bondage, they live in a dwelling that is luxurious compared to most slaves at the time. The setting during the early parts of Douglass’ life is mainly helpful to his development (both figuratively and literally), but a constant undertone of anxiety taints his memory of this time. The setting is figuratively useful to Douglass since his grandparent’s home aided the development of his morality. Literally, it was helpful because a steady diet and exercise gave him a wholesome physique. “The dwelling of my grandmother and grandfather had handful of pretensions. It was a log hut, or cabin, constructed of clay, wood, and straw. At a distance it resembled- although it was significantly smaller, much less commodious and significantly less substantial- the cabins erected in the western states by the first settlers. To my child’s eye, even so, it was a noble structure, admirably adapted to promote the comforts and conveniences of its inmates” (Douglass 42). This quotation highlights the relatively nice setting of Douglass’ early childhood. This is important, simply because when he becomes older, he has to endure awful circumstances as a slave. Had he been born into that desolate setting, nonetheless, he may possibly never have realized how satisfied he could be if he had been no longer a slave. In spite of the kind and comfy life that Douglass enjoyed at his grandparent’s house, there was a dark cloud over his head, even at a young age. “Thus early did clouds and shadows commence to fall upon my path. When on the track- troubles by no means come singly- I was not lengthy in discovering out another facet, still much more grievous to my childish heart. I was told that this ‘old master,’ whose name seemed ever to be described with worry and shuddering, only allowed the youngsters to live with grandmother for a limited time, and that in fact as quickly as they were big sufficient, they have been promptly taken away, to live with the ‘old master’” (Douglass 43). This foreboding makes Douglass hate expanding older, due to the fact he knows that the older he gets, the sooner he has to leave to go live with “old master.”

Soon, Douglass comes of age and has to leave his grandparent’s house to go to function for the infamous “old master.” Initially, he is frightened when he gets to the “oild master’s” property, but he quickly finds comfort with his cousins who reside there. “I had not seen so many youngsters prior to. Wonderful houses loomed up in distinct directions, and a excellent a lot of guys and girls were at perform in the fields. All this hurry, noise, and singing was very different from the stillness of Tuckahoe. As a new comer, I was an object of particular interest, and, after laughing and yelling about me, and playing all sorts of wild tricks, they (the children) asked me to go out and play with them. This is refused to do, preferring to keep with my grandmamma” (Douglass 50). This quotation shows Douglass’ fears in his new atmosphere he prefers what is comfortable and familiar in contrast to this new, unfamiliar setting. On page 61, Douglass reflects that even though he is sad to leave Tuckahoe, he is adapted and creating the very best of items at Col. Lloyd’s plantation. “Keen as was my regret and excellent as was my sorrow at leaving the latter [Tuckahoe], I was not long in adapting myself to this, my new home. A man’s troubles are constantly half disposed of, when he finds endurance his only remedy. I identified myself here there was no obtaining away’ and what remained for me, but to make the best of it?” (Douglass 61). This quotation illustrates Douglass’ adaptive nature and capability to make the ideal of his circumstance. In 1838, following suffering under the brutal ownership of several masters, Douglass escapes and at some point buys his freedom.

Right after securing his freedom, Frederick Douglass did not settle down right away he travelled, creating speeches that advocated abolition. These years taught him that some individuals did want adjust for African-Americans and it was achievable. When he did settle down, it was in Rochester, New York. The city is useful to him and encourages his determination to elucidate the prosperity of the abolition of slavery due to the fact it was the very first spot he could pursue his writing with no main hindrances. As a result producing Rochester an atmosphere exactly where it would be advantageous for him to operate on his writing, in each his newspaper writing and his autobiography. “…I came to Rochester, Western New York, amongst strangers, exactly where the circulation of my paper could not interfere with the regional circulation of the Liberator and the Regular for at that time I was, on the anti-slavery query, a faithful disciple of William Lloyd Garrison, and completely committed to his doctrine touching the pro-slavery character of the constitution of the United States, and the non-voting principle, of which he is the known and distinguished advocate. With Mr. Garrison, I held it to be the 1st duty of the non-slaveholding states to dissolve the union with the slaveholding states and hence my cry, like his, was, ‘No union with slaveholders.’ With these views, I came into Western New York and during the very first 4 years of my labor right here, I advocated them with pen and tongue, according to the best of my ability” (Douglass 294). This quotation illustrates the constructive atmosphere can have on an individual’s life. Douglass is no longer a slave and he no longer has to fear becoming persecuted for operating away. He is totally totally free to work on his writing.

The setting in My Bondage and My Freedom exemplifies the elements contributing to Douglass’ moral improvement all through his life. He portrays himself in prosperous and nurturing environments, as effectively as harsh and dangerous ones. These varying settings provide a detailed contrast of his atmosphere and an explanation on how they impacted his moral development.
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