Frederick Douglass Corrupt

Powerful Essays
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. Douglass wrote “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself” in 1845. This narrative was written to inform readers how the lives of slaves were, and the harsh treatment they experienced. Within the narrative we see how the slave system was corrupted. It was clear throughout the narrative that there were specific perpetrators, victims, and bystanders within the slave system. Slaves were treated with the lowest of respect, and had no form of justice or rights. The slave system during the time that Frederic Douglass was a slave was corrupted, and he made that very clear within his narrative. In Douglass’ narrative we are shown how little rights the slaves…show more content…
Having an education and being able to read and write caused the slaves to be “unmanageable”. Douglass went to Baltimore to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld. Mrs. Auld began to teach him his A, B, C’s; that was until Mr. Auld told her she needed to stop or she was going to make him unmanageable and unfit to be a slave. Mr. Auld told Mrs. Auld “A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master- to do as he is told to do” (Douglass, “Narrative” 960). These slaves were kept from having an education, which would ruin their hopes of living once they had freedom. They couldn’t think for themselves or have their own opinions. The term “unmanageable” is used a lot to defend slave owners’ reasoning’s of treating slaves as though they are nothing. There is no good reasoning for the way slave owners treat their slaves besides the fact that they don’t care about their lives. They withhold their human rights from them so that they will work for their owners without getting…show more content…
Throughout the story it is clear that the perpetrators are the masters and overseers. “He then gave me a savage kick in the side, and then told me to get up… Mr. Covey took up the hickory slat with which Hughes had been striking off the half-bushel measure, and with it gave me a heavy blow upon the head” (Douglass, “Narrative” 975). It is clear that Mr. Covey is the perpetrator in this situation, and Douglass is the victim. Mr. Covey beat many of the slaves, but Douglass got the worst of it that day. Douglass was left to die on the ground after the horrible beating he got from Mr. Covey. Douglass was sick that day so he wasn’t able to make it to his shift in the fields. Another perpetrator and victim situation we see in the narrative is when Douglass is telling us about a slave named Demby is shot and killed by an overseer after he fled from a beating. “Mr. Gore then, without consultation or deliberation with any one, not even giving Demby an additional call, raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim, and in an instant poor Demby was no more” (Douglass, “Narrative” 955). When asked why he shot and killed Demby, Mr. Gore replied that he became “unmanageable”. Again we see that they use the term “unmanageable” as an excuse for why they treat the slaves with such
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