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Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World$
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Fionnghuala Sweeney

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310782

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313141

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An American Slave: Representing the Creole Self

An American Slave: Representing the Creole Self

(p.54) Chapter 3 An American Slave: Representing the Creole Self
Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World
Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the degree to which the slave narrative genre blends the value systems of North and South, bourgeois and plantocracy. It considers the relationship of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself to another body of writing produced by Frederick Douglass, namely the open letters to William Lloyd Garrison that were subsequently published in the abolitionist newspaper, the Liberator. Although released in the North and detailing the beginning of Douglass's public career, the Narrative was mostly an account of his Southern childhood and adolescence. It examined the effect of Southern codes of manhood on his early self-fashioning. Thematically, the open letters to Garrison reflected the Narrative's concern to represent Douglass' life to date, and helped and increased the temporal scope of the autobiographical Narrative.

Keywords:   slave narrative, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, open letters, Southern childhood, adolescence, bourgeois, plantocracy

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