An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery. Figurative language allocates emotions such as excitement, dread and seclusion. As a slave you have no rights, identity or home. Escaping slavery is the only hope of establishing a sense of self and humanity.
The most notable account of this separated was faced by a female slave that Northup encounters by the name of Eliza. Northup writes about the disregarding of the white slave traders towards the suffering of the mother and intense emotion of grief that Eliza displayed at the auction block when she realized that she was being separated from her children. As Northup noted, All the time the trade was going on, Eliza was crying aloud, and wringing her hands. She besought the man not to buy her child, unless he also bought herself and her other small child. She promised, in that case, to be the most faithful slave that ever lived.
Both of these writers felt responsible to inform their white readership of the hardships slavery had on not only them but on other slaves. For example, Olaudah Equiano experienced being taken away by white people from his country. He even found himself wishing to be back at his former slavery in preference of his “present situation”. He states, “...I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, not had I the least desire to taste anything. I now wished for the last friend, death to relieve me..”(130).
Around the turn of the 20th century, the Lost Generation was born. They came of age during World War I and as a whole became disillusioned and lost their naivety due to the senseless slaughter they saw in the war. In Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Morrison explores the harmful effects of slavery on not only the escaped slaves, but on there children, who are often overlooked. Denver is the protagonist of the story, she is the daughter of Sethe, an escaped slave who is terrified of her past demons returning. Because of her fears, Sethe shelters Denver to an extreme degree.
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl discusses how slavery dehumanizes and breaks down an individual to no worth. Douglass’ and Jacobs’ accounts are similar because they lecture against slavery with the work and obstacles they went through. Jacobs says, “For years, my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood. The influences of slavery had the same effect on me that they had on other young girls; they had made me prematurely knowing, concerning the evil ways of the world.” (827) Jacobs explains that slavery has attempted to take a toll on her life with its physical, emotional, and mental abuse.
The Hardships of Frederick Douglass The few scars on Frederick Douglass’ back told a story. A story that is cruel, inhumane, and unfaithful to mankind. Douglass had been through many difficult points during his life. In particularly, he had an early separation with his mother, he was sent away from his remaining family to work for Hugh Auld, he was taught illegally how to read and write, and he was sent to a new owner who was considered a “slave breaker”. Also, he had tried to escape with other slaves but failed.
Antoinette, without his biological father, grew up surrounded by racial tensions and violence. Her family was known to be a family of slave-owners. Due to this, people hated them. Experiencing a lot of things, Antoinette’s life has been challenged greatly. Hence that’s why she said nature is better than people.
It also reminds us of Jean Toomer’s Cane which shows us the gray shades of lynching. The nineteenth century Georgia is very cruel to those men who desire or demand equal and adequate space in the social set-up. Just one incident of Celie’s father being lynched, deteriorates both the daughter’s lives. The madwoman (Celie’s mother) in her attic loses her sensibility, her grace and her respect because her husband was lynched. Even in a much modernized society like Georgia, woman is idealized as the mother of the human race yet she is abused, beaten and exploited, threatened and thrown, casted and “outcasted, and later called as disgrace and
Killing or lynching of unwanted slaves, mistreatment, torture, segregation, cultural uprooting, disorientation and dislocation were some of the “natural” faith of the slaves. Slaves who survived the inhuman treatments, face their daily lives with “indelible stain” of slavery, indignity, segregated and marginalized and cultural alienation. All these put together, one is faced with a psychological load of permanent lack of identity, consciousness of color and indeed nostalgia for the lost homeland, from where they have been uprooted. Up till today, many former slaves in different parts of the world still bear the blunt scars of slavery, which is difficult - if not impossible - to
Armand lost his love for them both and felt resentment towards them. The audience assumes as well that Desiree's background had caught up to her and is now naturally being punished because her assumed black heritage in the racist South. What the audience later finds is that ironically the baby looks the way it does not because of Desiree but because of Armand. Desiree is found abandoned by her unknown parents as a baby, a wealthy white couple finds her and adopts her
The era of slavery in America is a very sad and mournful period of time. The hate, animosity, torture, and the treating of slaves as if they were not even human, all separated the people of America. Far worse than the physical scars left, are the emotional scars that still to this day affect the citizens of this great nation. Although slavery has now been abolished, todays people still look back at the acts that took place many years, and mourn. Many people focus on the gruesome physical pain that slaves had to endure.
Slavery was very cruel, and oppressed. 150 years ago Slavery ended and we are still suffering from the aftermath. Slavery was coursed labor relied upon intimidation, brutality and dehumanization, All slaves labored from sun up to sun down without almost any pay and treated as property. Family was a refuge for slaves dignity that masters thought to stifle.
" 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.
Through stories such as that of Frederick Douglass, and that of Harriet Jacobs you can truly see how despicable the act of slavery was. These true nonfictional stories show the true dynamic of how male and female slaves were treated. Slaves were physically and mentally degraded, without shelter and clothes. Working both day and night, with their masters never being pleased. These people were dehumanized and taken advantage of, with no respect to the fact that they were human beings.
Let us begin with George, Celia’s understandably treacherous slave lover, and his unreasonable demands that set Celia’s case into motion. George’s actions are an example of the common frustration and desperation of slave men who had no control over the sexual abuse of their loved ones by white masters (McLaurin 139-140). His was a reaction to a smoldering attack upon his masculinity, an attack that was a direct result of the dehumanization upon which slavery rested. Because the South was a slave society, this master-slave relationship structure echoed throughout every other aspect of southern life (Faragher, 204 & 215). In Celia’s case, we see this truth through Virginia and Mary Newsom’s position of powerlessness.