“One who is a slaveholder at heart never recognizes a human being in a slave” (Angelina Grimke). This quote was created to show the effect that slavery had on not only the slave, but the slaveholder. The slaveholder would dehumanize the slave to the point where the human was no longer recognizable; instead, the slave was property. Throughout this autobiography, Frederick Douglass uses language to portray the similarities and differences between the two sides. He allows the reader to spend a day in the life of a slave to see the effects from it. Within “My Bondage and My Freedom,” Douglass uses diction throughout the autobiography to display his tone of understanding, and how slavery affects both the slave and the slave holder which causes the mood of frustration for the reader.
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
One of the ironies in the book that Douglass talks about is how religious slaves are more cruel than non-religious slaves. In chapter 9, Douglass’ master, Thomas Auld, became
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.
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
Slavery is wicked and gory and monstrous and that is well known today but during the time it was well known. In Frederick Douglass’s, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass tries to persuade everyone to stop the madness and recognize how awful slavery is; to do this he uses comparison and realization leading to the reader being blown away by this one slave’s life story.
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. When Frederick Douglass published his self-written narrative, people finally got a fully comprehensive view of the life of a slave. To debunk the mythology of slavery, Douglass presents the cold, hard truth, displays slaves true intelligence,
The narrative of Frederick Douglas breaks down the very mechanisms used to enslave African Americans; from the deprival of education to an over use and desensitization of violence. What also occurs: is the realization that slavery as a system is able to damage those who are in power and use slavery. Corrupting the morals and empathy of white Americans who come in contact with the societal structure of enslavement. The same cycle which keeps African Americans from breaking free also keeps slave owners on a continuous path of cruelty. As an industry slavery seeks to survive and to do so it must have full support and no opposition; by both parties being changed to fit their roles it is able to do so. By taking the rights away from African
“Letter to My Master, Thomas Auld” explores Frederick Douglass’ view of slavery and Thomas Auld, his former slave master, in a smart and emotionally charged letter originally written in 1848 and published in the abolitionist newspaper North Star. Throughout the letter, Douglass uses his own experience as a slave to drive his views, often using sarcasm and a dark recognition of his trials to drive his own view of slavery; that slavery should be abolished and that it is inhumane and cruel. Douglass’ decision to publish this paper in the North Star allowed him to bring to light his experiences to push other readers of the newspaper towards an abolitionist stand point by bringing his first-hand accounts of slavery forward and explaining, at times
Douglass is a African American that was a slave and did a Narrative about his time being a slave and in his Narrative he “threw light” at the American slave system. African American slave Frederick Douglass lived through a time of racism and how slavery was a natural thing to do but was a very awful thing. And slavery is when families who had colored skin were separated and sold of to a person that can do anything to them, the slave is pretty much like the slaveholder’s property. And in this essay I will talk about how Douglass’s position differs from those who supported slavery and also I will be talking about How Douglass used his Narrative to share his position.
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.
Frederick Douglass had a overseer which spoke to be obeyed so almost every slave felt nothing but fear by him. Douglass had seen the overseer tie up the hands of men and women and lashed them for hours until their backs were covered in nothing but blood.