Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave.
When people talk about slavery they more or less tend to label the good ones who were against slavery into the North and then the monsters as being the Southerners. Stowe showed the readers that this isn’t true, and that you can’t just point and blame that easily. Through Tom’s owners, Mr. Shelby and St. Clare, Stowe showed us the reality of kindness that some Southern slave owners possessed. Both of these slave owners believed it wrong to harm their slaves and to treat them with any type of cruelty. St. Clare tended to share his opinions on slavery, and Stowe used this character to show how many Southerners thought slavery to be an act of iniquity, but were too stubborn to try and change the ways of their society.
Often times, the individuals who would be helping the slaves would often hear about the horrors of slavery, but they could not feel or visualize the suffering of slaves. The Underground Railroad was that tool that spread a change of perceptions because even the most stubborn of individuals, when they witnessed the conditions of the slaves, and they heard the stories the slaves told when slaves became free, that challenged the dominant ideologies of slavery being good. When thousands of slaves permeated the borders of the northern states, naturally even those who wanted to reject African Americans had to confront and live with the fact that African Americans are not slaves. This generated support for abolition because African Americans were quite competent when they did not have to the basic servile duties for their slave masters. Talented black men like Benjamin Banneker and Phillis Wheatley, a mathematician and a famous poet, proved that free black men could contribute to society (Divine et al 138).
There were other factors and incentives that drove the anti-slavery supporters. Larry Gara describes this phenomenon: “While some abolitionists were indignant at the slave system and what it did to black men, many more northerners became anti-southern and antislavery because of what the slave system did or threatened to do to them. A failure to recognize this can easily lead us into a blind alley of oversimplification, and to view the events of a hundred years ago as a morality play with heroes and villains rather than a plausible presentation of a human dilemma.” Gara brings up a good point here. It is important that we don’t view segregation with twentieth century goggles. Racism was with no doubt present on both sides, but neither side would have gone to the extremes that they did over a dispute of how ‘human’ slaves were.
Louisiana in the 1800s was riddled with slavery, and it was necessary to push an image into popularity in order to hide the immorality of the slave owner’s actions. This is explored in Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin. In her story, she writes about Armand’s emotions toward Désirée, “Moreover he no longer loved her, because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name” (Chopin, 3). As a social elite, the need to hold his status and keep his family in favor of others had Armand ostracizing his love for Désirée. As was expected of the time, plantation owner’s had to broadcast certain opinions about people of color.
The author tells how sad is the life of a slave girl and how, as soon as she is old enough, and against her will, she would learn about the malice of the world. Meanwhile, male slaves rarely suffered from such abuse, and different from women, slavery mostly affected their manliness. As Douglas says while describing one of the oversees: "It was enough to chill the blood and stiffen the hair of an ordinary man to hear him talk." By saying so, he proved how, at a very patriarchal time, male slaves completely lost the bravery and "superiority" often used to describe white men. Therefore, slavery did have some different effects towards women and men, but always towards a worse condition.
Defenders of slavery argued that slavery was not bad for slaves, but Douglass argues that it is terrible. One way it is terrible for a slave is that they're taken from their parents. Douglass is not sure who his father is but he guesses it is the master. he is separated from his mother and he only saw her at night. Douglass says that his master tries to “blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child” (1.3).
The root, which symbolizes hope, allows Douglass to become brave and fight for his freedom against slavery, instead of letting his life slip away by the chains of slavery. Due to this newfound hope, he felt obliged to “resolved to fight,” instead of getting punished by Mr. Covey and be continue to be abused. Mr. Covey abused his power over Douglass since slaves were considered property, and he “could do what he pleased,” however the root rendered Mr.
Garnet, essentially, uses the instances of brutality of enslaved women as a luring point for the enslaved men. It is quite clear that Garnet sees enslaved women as the primary victims of slavery. This was done to goad the men to do something, if not for the immorality of allowing themselves to be enslaved, then for the women they are obliged to protect. Garnet ridicules the enslaved men’s lack of action with the following: “Look around you, and behold the bosoms of your loving wives heaving with untold agonies! Hear the cries of your poor children!
Time and time again people who stand out are exiled by society for who they are or what they do and yet their people just like you and me, so why does society mistreat them? Well Frederick Douglass from the memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave and a few women based off The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler went through such for their different views. In the memoir by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, he speaks about the hardships he went through growing up as a slave such as being beaten by the overseers. In the book The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, the stories within the book are based upon her interaction with women and their experiences. Eve tries to shine a light upon the issues that come up when she speaks to women about their vagina and how in
Does being a slave mean you have no human rights and deserve to be treated with such brutality that you wish day in day out you 'd rather be dead? Are you a slave because of the color of your skin? Or the family you have been born into? Many of us are familiar with the word slave but very few open their eyes, dig deep into the past and try to comprehend what slaves went through. The inhumanity they faced for what?
Due to the fact of the horrible conditions slave were in some slaves would die and the slave capturers would just throw them over ship. The second topic is Equiano described that slaves were treated better than free former slaves. Once he traveled and witnesses other slave being sold during the slave trade, Equiano has also been sold off to other slave owners until he was sold off to his last owner. He was treated well from his former slave owners. Even though he witness the beatings and slave being sold, Equiano comparatively lived a decent life.
In his Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass describes in vivid detail his experiences of being a slave. In his novel Douglass talks about what it was like to move from location to location and what it was like to work long, hard hours with less than substantial sustenance. Eventually he escapes the clutches of slavery but not before he endured beatings, forced hard labor and emotional mistreatment. During his time as a slave he was tasked with various kinds of work and after he became free he worked as a speaker who advocated for abolition of slavery. In his novel Douglass gives us a critique of slavery that is effective in translating the ideas of how cruel slavery was by using the idea of work to call attention to not only the physical, but also mental abuses dealt to him and
While the change of mentality with Mrs. Auld may support Douglass’ claim that slavery was injurious to both the slaves and the slave owners, the truth of the matter was that the slaves were the ones who suffered the injurious effects that slave owners went through. Treating slaves as property affected slave owners mentally, but physically the consequence was endured by the slaves. Slave owners believed that an unmanageable slave was of no use to them as the slave owners believed that the slaves would be unhappy, “ He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy” (Pg 20).