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Category: English Composition

Date Submitted: 11/26/2012 08:45 AM

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Oppression is the state of being in which one feels a heavy burden in that one’s life that can be mentally and physically exhausting. One faces many hardships and suffers greatly being oppressed by society. He or she is not able to live his or her life the way he or she wants to, therefore, his or her potential to be genuinely happy is very limited. Oppression is illustrated in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass and in novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Characters in both pieces of writing, faces oppression in which, they had to accept and adapt the oppressed life style.

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass was raised as a slave but was not treated as one until he grew old enough to work on the plantation. During his childhood, his owner’s wife, never having slaves before, taught Douglass to read until her husband ordered her to stop. It was thought back then that having an education is freedom which makes a slave a man. Slaves were not allowed to learn so they could not excel in life. Having an education leads to thinking which leads to rebellion. And this is exactly what Douglass did. After the teachings from the owner’s wife, Douglass continued to educate himself by reading and writing. Douglass realizes that slavery is not the only way of life for him. Having been oppressed by the deprivation of everyday necessities, slaves lack identity and real happiness. Long working hours in the plantation, limited food and water supply, ragged clothing, getting beat and sleeping on the ground was just the way of life that the other slaves adapted. But not for Douglass. Education opened up his eyes and allowed him to see passed being a slave. Knowing that there were anti-slavery movements in the north, he poses as a sailor and escapes up north to New York where he was free.

Douglass, being against the oppressed lifestyle, makes a change. He wrote a book in which became public and the publicity of the book...