Frederick Douglass Psychological Abuse

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People have their equal right, and should not be ranked depending on their skin color or gender. However, as “The American Story” states “The masters of these agrarian communities sought to ensure their personal safety and the profitability of their enterprises by using physical and psychological means to make slaves docile and obedient” (page 352), because of the greed of wealth and safety, some people discarded their basic humanity and discipline and made excuses to justify their cruelty, so the slavery became like a tumor growing in the human society rapidly. With physical and psychological abuse, this “tumor” tortured every struggling people from day to night. As the insight of a dark history, Frederick Douglass’s “Narrative of the Life …show more content…

Psychological abuse was another effective way to control slaves and make them work hard, and fear was the foundation of psychological abuse. Usually, the master would call his slaves together to witness how they punished a slave hardly. Douglass mentions the first time he witnessed a master tied up a woman, and whipped her naked bask till she was literally covered with blood, and he wrote “I was quite a child, but I well remember it……It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery” (Douglass, page 4). As well as Douglass, most slaves witnessed the cruelty of the master, and they would work harder in order to avoid being whipped by their inhuman master. Some masters were evil foxes who sent people to inquire their slaves how the master was. As long as the slave’s master heard any slaves hated him, he would send people to punish slaves who told the truth. Due to this, most slaves universally said their master was kind and they were contented instead of telling the truth. The frequency of inquiring caused slaves began to trust their master was nice, and finally those slaves enslaved themselves. Moreover, giving the heavy work to slaves did not only help the master getting more money, but also destroyed slaves’ will. During Douglass stayed with his new master, named Covey, Covey gave Douglass and his coworkers heavy work in all weathers. After the torment of a few month’s overwork, Douglass “was broken in body, soul, and spirit” (Douglass, page 38). Therefore, …show more content…

In Douglass’s narratives, when he was sent to his new master in Baltimore, he met a kind mistress who treated him as a person but not a property. Douglass described his new mistress “her face was made of heavenly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music” (Douglass, page 19). During Douglass was staying in Baltimore, his mistress taught him writing and reading. Thanks to his patient mistress’s teaching, Douglass began to learn more and more thing from books and other people. Everything was happy until Douglass’s master knew that Douglass’s mistress taught Douglass, and the master warned mistress that her behavior was dangerous and unsafe because teaching slaves to read were discouraged or prohibited. Slaveholders feared slaves’ rebellions and attempts of escape. After the master’s “lecture,” Douglass lost his teacher who became coldness like his husband. Douglass was so sad and wrote in his book that “That cheer eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of demon”(Douglass, page 19). Thus, slavery, as the poison, blinded human being’s eyes and made people discard their good qualities which they had initially.
As a summary, Frederick Douglass’s “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An

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