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.
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.
Mrs. Auld was a kind person who was unlike other white women. Slaves could look her in the face and she smiled, putting the slaves at ease. She taught Douglass how to read but Mr. Auld forbade it because he said that teaching slaves how to read would give them a way to escape. Slavery began to cause Mrs. Auld to become cruel. Douglass described this change as “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage...and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.”
When Douglass describes the effects of slavery on Mistress Hugh he says, “Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone” (Douglass 16). The mistress was once a caring and considerate person but after owning a slave and seeing how her husband treated Douglass, she too began to mimic his brutal ways. This shows even the purest of people are turned evil by witnessing how slaves were treated. Greed and the desire to follow the ways of others caused cruelty of others.
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.
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.
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.
However, Douglass, who knows the true culprit, refutes this idea saying instead that slaves would join together in song to tell of their hatred and sorrow. Another way that Douglass rebukes this friendly image is with the gory horrific reality. For instance, when a savage overseer kills a slave named Demby, Douglass recalls “his mangled body sank out of sight, and blood and brains marked the water where he had stood”(22). Douglass isn’t painting this life in a positive way because he wants others to grasp the alarming reality that was life as a slave. Although those involved in the enslavement of African Americans might’ve liked to believe it, there was nothing reasonable or justifiable about
The affection Douglass and his mother had for each other shows endearment, thus proving that whites are not the only ones with genuine feelings of attachment and love. Douglass mentions the first time he witnessed a brutal whipping of another slave, and it was his Aunt Hester. He depicts a very cruel image in the reader’s mind, using very descriptive details on the whipping of his aunt. He stated “Before he commenced to whipping Aunt Hester, he took her into the kitchen, and stripped her from the neck to the waist, leaving her neck, shoulders, and back entirely naked.” (pg 24) Douglass demonstrates yet again the non merciful consideration of the slave owners.
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.
(37) To argue against slave masters’ belief that slaves are truly happy as slaves and would not wish to be free, she describes some of the terrible things slaves are forced to go through in their lifetime. These consequences often involve parting with their own children through the slave trade, this is especially predominant in cases where the slave master is the father of the child; however, if they are not sold, an enslaved mother must watch her child grow up in bondage and struggle against the abuse and torture inflicted upon them by their slavemaster. The most heart-wrenching scene of separation is perhaps in Mary Prince’s narrative where her mother is forced to sell all of her daughters on the same
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...
She seduced Tom as well as took advantage of his considerate being because she was mistreated. Atticus Finch says, "She is white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unacceptable…" to show that what Mayella did was not right and she knows it. Out of pressures
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.