The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church.
In the 1700-1800’s, the use of African American slaves for backbreaking, unpaid work was at its prime. Despite the terrible conditions that slaves were forced to deal with, slave owners managed to convince themselves and others that it was not the abhorrent work it was thought to be. However, in the mid-1800’s, Northern and southern Americans were becoming more aware of the trauma that slaves were facing in the South. Soon, an abolitionist group began in protest, but still people doubted and questioned it.
Douglass is a African American that was a slave and did a Narrative about his time being a slave and in his Narrative he “threw light” at the American slave system. African American slave Frederick Douglass lived through a time of racism and how slavery was a natural thing to do but was a very awful thing. And slavery is when families who had colored skin were separated and sold of to a person that can do anything to them, the slave is pretty much like the slaveholder’s property. And in this essay I will talk about how Douglass’s position differs from those who supported slavery and also I will be talking about How Douglass used his Narrative to share his position. How Douglass “throws light” on the American Slave system is by showing
His “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”, (Document G) makes emotional reading (lurid descriptions like "bitterest dregs of slavery" or "broken in body, mind, and soul" elicited reactions of disgust and dejection, which is the what abolitionists were hoping for) and showed that ultimately a slave, long thought to be a possession and less than human, was very much a person with reason and intellect. It provides unsurmountable proof that like any man, a slave deserved a life of dignity and liberty. His work shed light on the constant hard-working and abusive lifestyle that slaves
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass is a very great perspective for people of today to understand what it was like to be a slave in the 1800’s. It tells the story of the slave Frederick Douglass and how he began as an uneducated slave and was moved around from many different types of owners, cruel or nice, and how his and other slaves presences changed the owners, and also how he educated himself and realized that he shouldn’t be treated so poorly It was at the point later in the book that I realized how some slaves might have felt during slavery in the 1800’s. When Douglass is sent away to Mr.Covey he is treated pretty badly but eventually he stands up to Mr.Covey and demands that he stopped being treated like an animal.
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
Slavery can easily be determined as one of the most blatant acts of dehumanization. In the narrative titled “Narrative Of The Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass is easily able to portray this by quoting, “I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceases to be a man”, Chapter 10 page 45. The quote overall does illustrate to the reader the narrator’s reflection to slavery as a whole as he states they were deprived of not only their basic
Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property.
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
“One who is a slaveholder at heart never recognizes a human being in a slave” (Angelina Grimke). This quote was created to show the effect that slavery had on not only the slave, but the slaveholder. The slaveholder would dehumanize the slave to the point where the human was no longer recognizable; instead, the slave was property. Throughout this autobiography, Frederick Douglass uses language to portray the similarities and differences between the two sides. He allows the reader to spend a day in the life of a slave to see the effects from it.
Douglass uses paradox to demonstrate that slavery degragrates the slaverholder. When Douglass under Mr. Sever’s care he described that: “He was less cruel, less profane… He whipped, but seemed to take no pleasure in it. ”(Douglass 24). Most slaveholders are characterized to be cruel and inhuman because of the whipping and the way they treated the slaves.
Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Analysis Essay The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by Frederick Douglass himself, is a brutally honest portrayal of slavery’s dehumanizing capabilities. By clearly connecting with his audience’s emotions, Douglass uses numerous rhetorical devices, including anecdotes and irony, to argue the depravity of slavery. Douglass clearly uses anecdotes to support his argument against the immorality of slavery. He illustrates different aspects of slavery’s destructive nature by using accounts of not only his own life but others’ alsoas well.
The Detriments of Slavery In Narrative, Frederick Douglass describes his personal experience as a slave and how slavery is dehumanizing. As Douglass strives for freedom from slavery, both mentally and physically, he explains each of his masters and how they change throughout their lives of being slave holders. Douglas argues that slavery is not only physically and mentally detrimental to the slave but additionally, the slave owner. Both slave and slave holders suffer physically from slavery. For a slave, physical suffering is due to lack of necessities or being treated harshly.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.