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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Besides the similarities in understanding the importance of freedom, Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner has a lot of differences in using education to escape from slavery and gain freedom. In fact, Frederick Douglass used education as a mental resistance. To him, freedom means freedom in his mind. Resisting the ignorance of his master Hugh Auld is a great illustrated for this point. Unlike other slaves in the Hugh’s plantation, Douglass enjoyed a limit freedom in the Hugh’s house.
In his narrative, Frederick Douglass explained the concept of manhood by emphasizing on how one should be acknowledge with their own identities and have their own possession of clothes, shelter, and foods as well as privileges that God has given them. Manhood is an important measurement for Douglass because every man discovers, have desires, and develop passions whenever a man looks into himself or by a mirror of reflection. Throughout his journey as a slave, Douglass observed and experiment the cruciality of mankind when one has the power to take control of their subjects. From Mrs. Auld’s amazing lessons, education has helped him not only able to read and write but also understand the reasons behind slavery existence (Douglass, pg 22-23).
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.
Douglass began to view reading as a curse more than a blessing; a way in which he felt more imprisoned by the slave state he was in. Thus, the more he read the more he began to detest enslavers; which nonetheless in his mind would be nothing but thieves whom robbed slave’s homes. For it was not only reading but his ceaseless mind getting the best of him; such reading would create endless thoughts which haunted him and made him wish that he would remain an ignorant slave. Nonetheless, during Douglass’s thoughts, Douglass began to learn to
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.
In Frederick Douglass’s book, he writes accounts of his time in slavery and beyond. Throughout the book, Douglass writes about not only the physical hardships slaves endured, but the mental and emotional hardships as well. In Chapter X, Douglass describes a battle he had with a temporary slave owner named Mr. Covey. After the fight concludes, Douglass writes, “This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood.
Douglass managed to overcome the maltreatment of his wretched slave owners through the eventual attainment of freedom. The injustice imposed upon the African-American slaves by their owners was the crux of Douglass’s motivation to escape this inhumane life. Adolescents in today’s society could use Frederick’s determination as an example of moving forward to better oneself or one’s situation regardless of
Because of this, he successfully creates a contrast between what the slave owners think of and treat the slaves and how they are. Douglass says that slave’s minds were “starved by their cruel masters”(Douglass, 48) and that “they had been shut up in mental darkness” (Douglass, 48) and through education, something that they were deprived of, Frederick Douglass is able to open their minds and allow them to flourish into the complex people that they are. By showing a willingness to learn to read and write, the slaves prove that they were much more than what was forced upon them by their masters.
PAGE 2 In the Narrative Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, he uses this text to explain his purpose in “throwing light on the American slave system”, or show it for what it really is, as well as show his position on how he strongly believes slavery is an issue that needs to be addressed and how it differs from those who defended slavery, with experiences from his own life to support his argument. Douglass uses experience from his early days as a young slave to throw light on the aspect of physical abuse. According to his narrative, Douglass states, “Master, however, was not a humane slaveholder.
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.
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.
Furthermore, Education opened Douglass’s eyes to the reality of his injustice as a slave; thus, compelling him to action as he recalls, “In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. ”(Douglass, 2014, p.133) Education caused Douglass heartache. While attaining his education benefited Douglass, he could not relate to his fellow slaves. The fellow slaves had the ability to remain content with their current state of being since it was all they had ever known. Douglass knew otherwise and longed for the forbidden life as a free man, as it changed from an unattainable idea into an achievable
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 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.
“With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression.” This relates to the hardships and the fact that the people don’t recognize how terrible it is. And that these meanings of these “free” words mean something else to him and other slaves. He shows that the changes are hard but once they are made everything will be peaceful. Rhetorical features and strategies are Douglass’ forte’ in engaging with the audience.