The history of slaves was a psychological and physical torture to the mind of a slave and of a master. In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass writes about his personal experience. He was born into slavery and finally succeeds in running away to the North where slavery is illegal. Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development help explain the behavior of people. Several characters in Douglass’ book show one good example of Kohlberg’s six stages. Kohlberg's third stage of human development fits exactly one of Douglass’ characters, Mrs. Auld, who is by Kohlberg’s definition a “good girl” because she does as told even if it's wrong. Mr. Covey, another one of Douglass’ characters, perfectly fits stage two due
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
“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.
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. It required extraordinary barbarity on the part of an overseer to affect him. He was a cruel man, hardened by a
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.
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. However Douglass points out that it is not the fault of the slave owner but because of the slaves since Mr. Sever “[took] no pleasure in it”. He continues to develop the corruption of the slaveholder when Mr. Plummer: “the louder she screamed, the harder he whipped; and where theblood ran fastest, there he whipped longest.”(Douglass 20). Mr. Plummer is the typical slaverholder is the outcome
Abolitionism was a well-known movement around the time of the Civil War and its aim was to put an end to slavery. The people of the early nineteenth century viewed the elimination of slavery in numerous ways. Some fought against the end of slavery, some appeared to mildly support the cause and yet others wholeheartedly supported the ending of slavery until their dying day.
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).
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass is a very great perspective for people of today to understand what it was like to be a slave in the 1800’s. It tells the story of the slave Frederick Douglass and how he began as an uneducated slave and was moved around from many different types of owners, cruel or nice, and how his and other slaves presences changed the owners, and also how he educated himself and realized that he shouldn’t be treated so poorly
In life, humans have many different traits that describes themself. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass shows life a slave in the nineteenth century. In the story, Douglass brings us back in time to show his experiences of the hypocrisy of human nature. Disputes with Douglass and his masters are seen throughout the story showing both the good and bad traits of human nature. American literature of the nineteenth century reveals that human nature embodies contrasting traits such as love and cruelty through the uses of literary devices.
Frederick Douglass published two similar versions of his fight with the ‘slave-breaker’ Edward Covey in the tenth chapter of his The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, and in the seventeenth chapter of My Bondage and My Freedom. By comparing the two accounts it is possible to see an evolution of his thoughts on abolishing slavery and person hood which occurred in the years which transpired between the two works, 1845 and 1855.
Hope and fear, two contradictory emotions that influence us all, convicted Frederick Douglass to choose life over death, light over darkness, and freedom over sin. Douglass, in Chapter ten, pages thirty-seven through thirty-nine, of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, utilizes various rhetorical techniques and tone shifts to convey his desperation to find hope in this time of misery and suffering. Mr. Covey, who Douglass has been sent to by his master to be broken, has succeeded in nearly tearing all of Douglass’s dreams of freedom away from him. To expound on his desires to escape, Douglass presents boats as something that induces joy to most but compels slaves to feel terror. Given the multiple uses of repetition, antithesis, indirect tone shifts, and various other rhetorical techniques, we can see Douglass relaying to his audience the hardships of slavery through ethos, the disheartening times that slavery brings, and his breakthrough of determination to obtain freedom.
More evidence of objectification is shown in the murder of Demby by Mr. Gore. To escape more whipping, Demby submerges himself into a creek and refuses to come out, resulting in Mr. Gore shooting Demby in the face. Justifying the murder, Gore argues that “if one slave refused to be corrected, and escaped with his life…the result…would be freedom of the slaves.” Gore’s justification objectifies Demby’s mortality by turning it into a tool to teach the other slaves of what would happen should they disobey. Finally, Douglass tells of his own dehumanization through violence as master Covey, the “slave breaker,” beats him after becoming too weak to work. As though Douglass is a broken machine, Covey kicks Douglass in vain, trying make him function
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass's battle with his master Covey is a turning point in his career as a slave in that he resolves to no longer be docile and subservient as a slave. In fighting back against Covey, Douglass frees his mind from the psychological effects of slavery.
The American person has no true ideals, or beliefs that make him or her up. Americans are free to believe in what they want, think what they want, preach what they want, and most importantly say what they want . Authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman show in their texts such as “Self-Reliance” , The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , and “I Celebrate Myself” that there is no true definition of the American identity. The American identity can be seen in the many aspects of peoples lives, and a a quality that many Americans portray is the ability to have individual thoughts and emotions as well as the capability to not conform to society because they stand up for their own individual rights.