Frederick Douglass Hypocrisy Essay

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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. For example, when one landowner would pass his belongings to another, “men…show more content…
Throughout his narrative, Douglass’s descriptions of the white slaveholders expose the Christian hypocrisy found in the American slave system. Douglass first does so by exposing how the lesson taught by Christians to help those in need is contradicted by the experiences Douglass has especially with hunger. Douglass reflects on these experiences when he states that for the “first time during a space of more than seven years” feeling the effects of the “painful gnawing’s of hunger…” (54). This event shows the Christians’ lessons of selflessness and kindness is hypocritical as they treat their fellow humans as subhuman. The Christians at the time rely on scripture to make a case for slavery in America. It is a common argument for Christian slaveholders to make “…that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right…” (5). this argument exposes their hypocrisy as it conveys how they attempt to stretch small pieces of scripture to justify the violence of the American slavery. Douglass thus asks if it is humane to use a small piece of writing to damn an entire race to hardship and subhuman treatment. This case of blasphemy is amplified by the observation that Douglass makes of one of his slave masters, Mr. Covey, in that “he seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the almighty” (61). Here, Douglass exposes the Christian attempt to wash their hands of any guilt or wrong doing. Overall, Douglass exposes the truth behind this hypocrisy; when these slaveholders use God as a
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