Douglass was a slave and had always been a slave. It’s all he really knew his whole life, but he was determined to find a way out of it. He started his journey to freedom when he learned to read at the Aulds’. Mr. and Mrs. Auld began to worry Douglass knew too much, so they sent him to Edward Covey, a man with a reputation for breaking people. At the farm, Covey eagerly watched Douglass for every opportunity to punish him. He made sure Douglass did nothing but work under his watch. One day, Douglass was fanning wheat in the field when he felt somewhat ill. Then, after hours of working under the scorching hot sun, he collapsed of exhaustion. Douglass crawled out of the sun, into the safety of shadow, but he was not safe for long. Covey had heard the fan stop and was already on his way. Covey found a broken and weak Douglass, lying on the shaded floor. Covey gave him a hard, brutal kick in the side of his body and fussed at him to get up. Douglass, not wanting another hit, attempted to rise but was too weak and fell to the ground again. Covey grabbed a plank nearby, and angrily hit Douglass hard over the head with it. As cold blood trickled down Douglass’ head, Covey walked away leaving him to survive.
After enduring Covey’s torment for far too long, Douglass decided to confront the Aulds about it. Despite his best efforts, they sent him back to the farm. Douglass spent the rest of the day in the forest. That night, Sandy found him. Sandy and Douglass were already acquainted, and after hearing his story, Sandy invited Douglass to come with him to his house. Douglass accepted, and followed Sandy home. At their house, Sandy gave Douglass advice but also told him he must return to the farm. Before his departure, Sandy insisted Douglass take a root. This root, according to Sandy, would protect Douglass from any harm. Douglass was skeptical, but took it anyway. Once back at the farm, Covey greeted Douglass relatively nicely, especially considering his continued absence. That evening, Covey sent Douglass to the stable to work. Covey knew no one could help him, and he had nowhere to run, so he took it as an opportunity to do to Douglass whatever he pleased. Covey grabbed ahold of Douglass, who kicked and flailed free of his grasp. Once away from Covey, Douglass knew he had no choice but to fight back. They fought hard and viciously, each attacking the other with great aggression. Punches were thrown repeatedly at each other, and every punch that connected fueled Douglass to keep fighting. The fight was brutal, and the more blood that spilt on the dirty stable floor, the harder Douglass fought. He fought for his freedom. He fought against slavery. He fought for his mother, and he fought for what was right. Douglass gave it his all, and in the end, came out on top. Covey lay on the floor, drooling blood, grunting in pain, laying in defeat. Douglass got up, and realized what he had done. He had won the fight. He had beat Covey.
Winning the fight was not just a physical win, it was a big mental win for Douglass. In a way, it set him back on his path to freedom. It gave him a new sense of freedom and hope to achieve that freedom that he had not felt in a long time. Covey had broken him, but the victory pushed him to recover. It taught him to stand up for himself, to stand up for what is right even when it is not looked up upon. It gave him new perspective, and changed his life forever. Douglass would go on from this to change the world, his world, for the better- and in a way, Covey helped him on his way.