Drew Robinson ENGL-2130 Dr. Vasseur November 11, 2008 In-Class Presentation One of the most reoccurring themes in Frederick Douglass’ narrative is the common theme of inequality. Douglass attempts to show how African American slaves are simply human beings like their white counterparts, there are numerous instances in which it is shown how many whites did not accept slaves as truly human. Frederick Douglass perceives the gross racial inequities at an early age and notes, “I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell his birthday. They seldom come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest-time, cherry-time, springtime, or fall-time. A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood. The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege” (923). Merely pointing out the fact that he did not know the details of his background is a structurally vital part of the narrative since it defines an early and formative example of inequality, but Douglass takes this observation one step further by remarking upon the difference between the white and black children. Instead of merely accepting this difference, he is strongly aware of the inequality of even the most minor details. These descriptions of inequality plague the first half of the narrative and the reader realizes the value of a slave when Douglass states, “We were all ranked together at the evaluation. Men and women, old and young, married ands single, were ranked with horses, sheep and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination”. It is clear that Douglass wants his readers to see the humanity of both himself and other slaves and wishes to show the extent to which perceptions of inequality are flawed.