These slave narratives gave the most powerful accounts that contradicted the flattery statements and claims given by slave owners in concern to slavery. These narratives gave accounts of the abuse done to slaves both physically, sexually and emotionally, the fear and brutality of floggings, the horrid conditions they were kept in, the fear of separation from their families. Twelve Years A Slave, written by Solomon Northup is a
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl discusses how slavery dehumanizes and breaks down an individual to no worth. Douglass’ and Jacobs’ accounts are similar because they lecture against slavery with the work and obstacles they went through. Jacobs says, “For years, my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood. The influences of slavery had the same effect on me that they had on other young girls; they had made me prematurely knowing, concerning the evil ways of the world.” (827) Jacobs explains that slavery has attempted to take a toll on her life with its physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Women in slavery were mistreated sexually as well, and in this case, Jacobs faced sexual oppression at a young age.
In a way, Beloved starts feeding on Sethe, on her guilt, eventually draining out everything from her. Beloved is not just a repressed memory. She is a representation for the entire community. Not only Sethe’s remorse are symbolized by her actions, but the collective suffering of slaves during that time. Morrison basically targets, attempts of rape and sexual assault on slaves as the most terrifying form of abuse.
The scene were Tom says that he would hang a slave if they were ungrateful and ranaway shows the greater truth of slavery that if a slave disobeyed, they deserved death. These greater truths of slavery that Twain puts into the book are important to notice because it shows how slaves were thought of and treated differently than white people during the time period that the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes
Religion and Abuse in Frederick Douglass’s Narrative In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, there are many passages that reveal the horrors of the institution of slavery. These passages, so realistically depicted through the jaded, yet educated voice of Frederick Douglass, paint a picture within the reader’s mind that cannot quickly be forgotten. His conversational, yet eloquent tone gives the reader the impression that Douglass is intentionally detaching himself from any emotion that he may have about what he saw on the plantations. One such occasion is the story of the beating of Douglass’s Aunt Hester. Douglass explains early in his narrative that Aunt Hester was a very beautiful “woman of noble form,
This quote showed how they don’t care about Jim and how they just care about the money. Another quote “While slaveholders profit from slavery, the slaves themselves are oppressed, exploited, and physically and mentally abused. Jim is inhumanely ripped away from his wife and children. However, white slaveholders rationalize the oppression, exploitation, and abuse of black slaves by ridiculously assuring themselves of a racist stereotype, that black people are mentally inferior to white people, more animal than human.” (LitCharts). This explains how Jim was abused and what happened to the slaves during slavery.
As, Abraham Lincoln said: “When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” Mark Twain, in his book continually criticizes the cruelty of human beings. One of the main themes that Mark Twain worked in his novel was the cruelty involved with Slavery. The life of a slave depicts that human beings are not always as benevolent as they appear to be. Twain in this novel exhibits the perfidious ways of slavery in America by ridiculing slavery’s outlandish ways. Satire is once again used to portray slavery in this novel.
While Stowe starkly contrasts various slave owners in their methods of treatment, whether "humane" or not, she emphasizes that slavery taints every action with immorality. For the northern sympathizers, Stowe likewise argues that to simply sympathize from afar the plight of the slave is not enough. Uncle Tom 's Cabin was so revolutionary because it spurred action throughout the North and South to end the "peculiar institution" of
Hester having committed adultery and tries all what she can so as to ensure that she live of repentance and dignity. In the Scarlet letter, the influence and characteristics of Pearl, Hester Prynne daughter is used to convey the theme of sin and hypocrisy in the novel. Hawthorne uses pearl to draw a parallel between forgiveness and punishment From the beginning of her life she is viewed as, a product of sin. The puritans shunned her, their treatments affected Pearl
Needless to say, such a notion could only be accepted if both parties agree to formalities of their roles, slave and master. Many of the slaves themselves allowed themselves to be tortured and dehumanized by the majority because their faith believed that they and brought it upon themselves. The Curse of Harm, was used as justification of slavery and it was what identified the physical characteristics such as skin and body type to identify the Other. Through their own justification and the justification of the minorities through the majority rule, created a stigma that allowed racism to be born. Had the idea of blood and physical characteristics not become a widely recognized excuse for demonizing the Other during the Middle Ages, racism would have not been
Psychological abuse was another effective way to control slaves and make them work hard, and fear was the foundation of psychological abuse. Usually, the master would call his slaves together to witness how they punished a slave hardly. Douglass mentions the first time he witnessed a master tied up a woman, and whipped her naked bask till she was literally covered with blood, and he wrote “I was quite a child, but I well remember it……It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery” (Douglass, page 4). As well as Douglass, most slaves witnessed the cruelty of the master, and they would work harder in order to avoid being whipped by their inhuman master. Some masters were evil foxes who sent people to inquire their slaves how the master was.
The author tells how sad is the life of a slave girl and how, as soon as she is old enough, and against her will, she would learn about the malice of the world. Meanwhile, male slaves rarely suffered from such abuse, and different from women, slavery mostly affected their manliness. As Douglas says while describing one of the oversees: "It was enough to chill the blood and stiffen the hair of an ordinary man to hear him talk." By saying so, he proved how, at a very patriarchal time, male slaves completely lost the bravery and "superiority" often used to describe white men. Therefore, slavery did have some different effects towards women and men, but always towards a worse condition.
Let us begin with George, Celia’s understandably treacherous slave lover, and his unreasonable demands that set Celia’s case into motion. George’s actions are an example of the common frustration and desperation of slave men who had no control over the sexual abuse of their loved ones by white masters (McLaurin 139-140). His was a reaction to a smoldering attack upon his masculinity, an attack that was a direct result of the dehumanization upon which slavery rested. Because the South was a slave society, this master-slave relationship structure echoed throughout every other aspect of southern life (Faragher, 204 & 215). In Celia’s case, we see this truth through Virginia and Mary Newsom’s position of powerlessness.
No, no! They were not all bad, I dare say, but slavery hardens white people 's hearts towards the blacks; and many of them were not slow to make their remarks upon us aloud, without regard to our grief--though their light words fell like cayenne on the fresh wounds of our hearts. Oh those white people have small hearts who can only feel for themselves. (11) Here, Mary Prince calls out the utter lack of compassion of the white community. They show complete disregard in the feelings of the black folks who are forced into slavery, forced into selling their loved ones and their children.
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.