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.
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.
The most dehumanizing experience of a slave, as introduced by Douglass, includes: humiliation, emotional trauma, inequality, and physical abuse. Douglass, a man of wisdom, character, and determination; fought liberally and strategically, to surmount the odds of being deprived of his humanity while enslaved. Douglass, along with many other slaves, experienced the most gruesome epidemic that America was granted in history. Slaves were treated badly, and often seen as an epitome to society in the south. In the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” he foreshadows his experience as a slave, and explains some of the most dehumanizing experiences, from blood bashed beatings to intense emotional trauma.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church. In the narrative, the speaker, an African American slave recalls his removal from his family and denial to the right to learn to read and write
Through his own experience of slavery from a child to adult, he exposed the brutal nature of slavery and revealed underside of how slave owners maintain such terrible regime. In the institution of slavery, whites gain their power over slavery by the practice of violent and cruel treatment, deliberately keep slaves ignorant of basic facts about slave themselves and the intention of enslaving them. Slaveholders in the south separated slave’s family, slaves will become vulnerable and lost consciousness or hope in the absence of family love. Slaveholder could keep them without facing any lawful punishments. Basis on these, whites can make black slaves lost their individuality and qualities as human, they will have not have consciousness aware their place in the society.
In the book, “The Neglected Period of Anti-Slavery in America” of Alice Dana Adams, he wrote an interesting quote from David Benedict, saying that “The existence of slavery in a country is calculated to awaken all the propensities of human nature, whether good or bad.” This show that slavery is a cause of many problem. So I strongly believe that slavery is immoral
Reals of Slavery The powerful rhetoric, through purposeful words, anecdotes, and details show how they influence America to see the evils of slavery.The evils of slavery demonstrate how the slaves were whipped and shows this with rhetoric words in his autobiography “Frederick Douglass”. Powerful rhetoric helps Douglass influence for the abolitionist movement. Douglass uses powerful words to show the evils of slavery for the abolitionist movement. Slaves not knowing of their age as animals, show how just brutal there were as knowing little as their family too. Acknowledging, how slaves are treated compared with animals knowing “little of their age as horses know of theirs”(17).
Irony is one of the rhetorical devices in which it it uncovers the difference between the truth and something expected. Predominantly, it detects the misconceptions or the unfairness of a specific situation. (http://figurativelanguage.net/Irony.html) Most of the time, Frederick Douglass used irony in order to uncover the defect in the reasoning of the issue of slavery. For instance, in the third chapter, Douglass made a description about the obssesive care of his previous master named Colonel Lloyd on his horses. Lloyd was beating his slaves in charge of taking care for the horses when they made any mistake.
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass illustrates the harshness of slavery, the power of education/knowledge, and that slavery is detrimental to all those involved. On several occasions, Douglass illustrates the desire of the white man to keep slave “ignorant” (Douglass, 2012). Not allowing slaves to learn to read or write, publicly and cruelly punishing anyone that did. Not even allowing them the simple of their own birthday. To ever teach slave would ensure “the freedom of the slaves and the enslavement of the whites” (Douglass, 2012).
His experiences consist of violence upon a fellow slave or upon himself. The acts of cruelty break down the slaves bodily and mentally, having no respect for human life. An example of this cruelty was when the slaveholders abandoned Douglass’ grandmother and “made her welcome to the privilege of supporting herself… in perfect loneliness; thus virtually turning her out to die!” (Douglass 48) Douglass uses these experiences as the logical basis for his argument, being that slavery is unjustified acts of hatred and dehumanization.
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
To whom it may concern,/ Dear Sir or Madam, Subsequently reading documented lives of slaves whom have suffered, I have concluded that this was the dark and unethical time of America. In this literary composition I will discuss reasons why slavery is atrocious and America should feel ashamed. Not only taking people from their country and their families, they were sold and appraised for work. There is documented archives to show the cruelty that was being done. Frederick Douglass born in Talbot County, Maryland was born into slavery and wrote about his sufferings.To read the words from a slave and his story, you will feel the emotion through his writings.
He shows his position of slavery on page 3 when Douglass states, “ Master, however, was not a humane slaveholder. It required extraordinary barbarity on the part of an overseer to affect him. He was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding.” This quote supports Douglass’s position on slavery because it shows that the man was cruel and this was the effect of being a slaveholder. The second time he shows his position on slavery is when Douglass states on page 22, “My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender-hearted woman... Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness… She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction, that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” This quote supports Douglass’s position because it shows how at first she was kind when she didn’t experience slavery but, once she did she became a malicious woman.
Famous former slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, enlightened people as to how slaves were treated by their masters. Douglass 's first master (and possibly his father), Captain Anthony was a cruel man who took pleasure in whipping his slaves. Captain Anthony 's boss, Colonel Edward Lloyd, insisted on extreme subservience from his slaves and punished
Overall, the black slaves were treated poorly and bundled aboard the slave ships. A slave said, “In such a place the sense of misery and suffocation is so great, that the blacks are driven to frenzy.” Even though whites and blacks were slaves, they were treated unequally and unfairly. Eventually, racism developed in society and white people was considered superior over the blacks. The blacks and whites were separated due to their skin color. The black slaves endeavored to escape from their owners to search for their family.