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Character Role Analysis

Edward Covey

Before Douglass can escape from slavery, he has to come to the conclusion that his freedom is the most important thing to him. Douglass's fight with Covey forces him to make this choice: when Covey tries to whip him into submission, Douglass decides that he would rather die than stay a slave. And defeating Covey in the fight is important less because it sets Douglass free – that comes later – but because forcing Covey to respect him and treat him like a human being helps Douglass respect himself.