Throughout Frederick Douglass’s Narrative, he recalls the inhumane acts that were thrusted upon him as a slave, but overcame the abuse of the common practice. Specifically, Douglass since childhood worked in a plantation as a slave, but from him learning to read and write, he escapes and teaches the people of the North the hardships of slavery, where he faced deprivation through exploitation, discovered there were more opportunities for slaves as he approaches the North, and gains power to change of his life due to his knowledge. For instance, the slaves were put into lower social positions than their masters through social manipulation, in ways of isolation and deprivation, so they would not leave the plantations. To illustrate, in the plantations many of “the white …show more content…
Being that there are basic facts of the slaves that were being withheld from them, they lose the sense of identity from a young age, and now are conditioned to only know what the masters tell them, believing all else is irrelevant. Another way the slaves are mistreated in society is how, “before the child has reached its twelfth month, [the] mother is taken from it”, so family can not grow emotional attachments to one another (48). Learning as a little kid, the slaves are taught to grow up with no sense of relationship to a family member forcing the only loyalty or emotional connections towards the masters, making it easier for them to control. In addition, many of the slave children who were too young to work in the fields did not have “ shoes, stockings, jackets, or trousers” making the only clothes allotted to them for the whole year being “two coarse linen shirts” (54). Having the children be cold and vulnerable throughout the winter months, made the small children realize the low status that is implemented, teaching the children to rely only on the masters. Furthermore, Frederick
Many colored individuals were forced into slavery and each and everyone of the slaves had a different experience with their master. The slaves were treated as if they were nothing, a piece of property that the white people owned. They were not allowed to learn how to read or write; only needed to know how to do their chores and understand what their master was saying. They were just an extra hand in the house that had no say or existed in the white people world. The slaves’ job was to obey their master or mistress at all times, do their chores and take the beating if given one.
For years, the institution of slavery existed in the United States and was characterized by the legal, inhumane treatment of those enslaved. One of the most prominent figures during this time was Frederick Douglass, an African-American abolitionist who detailed his own experiences in the practice. Having spent most of his life enslaved and wishing to escape, when he finally did he would find himself in a new and overwhelming situation. In this excerpt of his autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” he describes his life after escaping slavery and shows how his state of mind goes from being enthusiastic over freedom to suddenly fearful and lonely. To convey his change, Douglass uses deliberate language, such as various
Auld is what started Frederick determination of learning as he got older (3). Soon Mr. Auld found out about him learning and stopped it because he was afraid. So the lessons with Mrs. Auld stopped and Frederick had to learn else where with the white children as well as some of the blacks (3). While being moved from the Aulds he tried to teach the other slaves as an effort to make them more educated of what was going on (3). After that a 16 year old Douglass was moved to another slave owner by the name of Edward Covey (Biography.com Editors).
Slaves were treated with the lowest of respect, and had no form of justice or rights. The slave system during the time that Frederic Douglass was a slave was corrupted, and he made that very clear within his narrative. In Douglass’ narrative we are shown how little rights the slaves
In his Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass describes in vivid detail his experiences of being a slave. In his novel Douglass talks about what it was like to move from location to location and what it was like to work long, hard hours with less than substantial sustenance. Eventually he escapes the clutches of slavery but not before he endured beatings, forced hard labor and emotional mistreatment. During his time as a slave he was tasked with various kinds of work and after he became free he worked as a speaker who advocated for abolition of slavery.
In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass reveals his life as a slave and the valuable lessons he learned from his experience. Douglass wants the truth about slavery to be revealed and wants to eliminate the lies that portray slavery as beneficial. Douglass exposes the reality of slavery by criticizing the “romantic image” of slavery, showing the intellectual capabilities slaves had, and revealing the reasons why slaves were disloyal to each other. Douglass criticizes the southern, romantic image of slavery by exposing the harsh treatment and sadness that slaves endured. It was southerners who thought slavery as beneficial, because it benefited themselves and white society.
Douglass stated, “What am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow-men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters?” He successfully expresses his pain and anger in this quote by providing images of his and his people’s suffering. He tapped into the emotions of his audience, such as mothers, workers, and those who have felt physically pain by exposing them to the amplified struggles he and others had to face. Nonetheless, he continually reminded the audience, both explicitly and subliminally, that his group of people are too human, and that the only difference they share is the color of their skin. He is pleading his cases and hoping that it gets across to his audience in hope they will do the right
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.
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.
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.
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Every slave’s journey to freedom is imbued with hopes, struggles and triumph. Each individual narrative complex and intriguing. The world is blessed to have one of those distinct stories written by an educated former slave that went by the name Frederick Douglass. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, Douglass reminisces on his life and the countless trials that he had to surpass throughout the years to become a free African American.
SUMMARY Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, taken away from his mother as an infant, and raised on Colonel Lloyd’s large plantation, under Captain Anthony. He was not allowed to know his birthdate, as slaves were to be treated as less than human. Even as a child, he knew of the brutal treatment of slaves, particularly by Mr. Austin Gore and Mr. Severe. The slaves were given the bare minimum required to survive, and beaten, whipped, and, on one particular occasion that Frederick Douglass mentions, shot dead.