“You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.”: Analyzing authorization in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
This thesis looks at how different types of authorization are used to authorize Frederick Douglass’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself. The thesis examines how Douglass’s uses various strategies to authorize his narrative to make his story both intriguing and believable, and to highlight his transition from an uneducated slave to a well renowned abolitionist. It also answers how Douglass did not have complete authorization over his own material, and had to authorize his narrative through his editors. The analysis is supported with theory on the authorization of autobiographies. The theory highlights different strategies as to how one authorizes personal narratives. This thesis uses theory on authorizing trauma, political movements, agency, truthfulness and design. Lastly, the thesis contains a chapter with suggestions on how Douglass’s life narrative can be taught in conjunction with the Culture and Literature Program at VG3 level in Norwegian upper secondary school. It suggests that Douglass’s narrative can be used to highlight concerns about authorial credibility, as the genre itself provokes strong responses and raises difficult issues. It also states that Douglass’s narrative catalyst for historical comprehension. It also suggests that by reading this autobiography, students can relate to Douglass’s story on a personal level.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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