Towards his adolescent years Douglass begins to explore the term freedom and what it actually means to be free. He started to figure out that knowledge by itself was not enough to buy his freedom or guarantee his protection from the slave system. Douglass begins resisting his masters and actively fighting for his freedom. However, his masters notice his uprising so they send him to a slave breaker in hopes to break his spirit. Their attempts to break him work and Douglass enters the lowest point of his life. Douglass says that his “My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me.”72 He describes this as a turning point in his life where he realizes that he would rather die than be treated like a slave, so from then on he makes breaking free his priority. He developed his first plan to escape when he was around eighteen years old but was unsuccessful in his attempt. A few years later he tries again and successfully escapes to New York and then to Massachusetts. Unfortunately, even after he is no longer bound to slavery, he realizes that he is nowhere near free and concludes that in order to truly have freedom, he has to completely eradicate slavery. This leads him to become an abolitionist leader and write his narrative to inspire and teach others about the immoralities of slavery.
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