Tuesday, May 24, 2016

'From Whence Came the Spirit'

Today in class, we are acting out one of the most powerful scenes in the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. When Frederick is sent to live with Mr. Covey for a year, it begins as the worst of his already painful life. Mr. Covey is known for "breaking" slaves (p. 40).

For six months, the savage Mr. Covey does just that to Frederick.

And yet!

After being almost killed by Mr. Covey, Frederick says he makes a decision. He tell us, "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man," (p. 39). Frederick proceeds to fight Mr. Covey for two hours, refusing to allow the cruel man to whip or abuse him any longer. He writes that he doesn't know where his determination comes from--"from whence came the Spirit I do not know," (p. 42).

But it guides him and for the first time, Frederick is able to prevent abuse.

Our class discussion and acting out of this scene helped us see how the confidence and taste of freedom that began with reading extends to this moment in the text.

We also did a Quick Write about hypocrisy:  exploring why Douglass says that Methodists were the worst slave owners because of their intense cruelty. We explored how hypocrisy functions in our time, today.

For tonight, be sure to read through page 62 in the book (through the end of Chapter 10 and halfway through Chapter 11). Here is a link in case you want to listen to the book aloud as you read. 

Our word of the day today is ARDENT, which means enthusiastic; zealous; passionate. Our word of the day from yesterday was DETER, which means to prevent or distract.

Much peace,

Mr. R

No comments:

Post a Comment