He wants to expose slavery for all the horrors that it truly is, and for this he needs no exaggeration in the stories he tells. His simple language tells the story with the slightest hint of remembrance and sadness as the only emotion. That melancholy tone makes the reader wonder if, despite his emotion and obvious disapproval for the slave-driven society in which he lives, Douglass sometimes feels hopeless when he has to remember the things that he and his friends and family endured. His incorporation of religious elements in a text about slavery’s ills is very compelling. It is likely that inclusion of such material would be appealing to readers that would possibly have bought Douglass’s narrative, but also, the reader might assume that the events surrounding Douglass’s life as a slave caused him to form his own opinions about religion and its effect on society.
In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery. Figurative language allocates emotions such as excitement, dread and seclusion. As a slave you have no rights, identity or home. Escaping slavery is the only hope of establishing a sense of self and humanity.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass tells the remarkable story of Frederick Douglass as he witnesses the dehumanizing effects of slavery on both slaves and their masters and works to be acknowledged as a human being. Douglass not only documents his journey from childhood to manhood, but also documents the mental and emotional the highs and lows of his emotions as he bounces between slavery and what he believes to be freedom. In the passage about his escape and arrival in New York, Douglass’ emotions regress from feelings of joy to feelings of emptiness. In the excerpt, Frederick Douglass recounts his transition from feelings of excitement to feelings of fear and loneliness during his escape and his arrival in New York using figurative language, diction, and repetition. Rather than blatantly stating his feelings, Douglass uses several kinds of figurative language to convey his emotions to the reader.
He uses similes throughout his narrative to compare his struggles with slavery and show how the African American is negatively portrayed with something the reader can easily imagine and relate. When discussing his tiresome days working , Douglass compares himself to being held down by a weight, When I could stand no longer, I fell, and felt as if held down by an immense weight.” (55) The simile between him and the weight shows how slavery is weighing him down and it is something the reader can easily imagine and relate too. Later in the narrative Douglass compares slaves to wild beasts, “In the midst of houses, yet having no home,--among fellow-men, yet feeling as if in the midst of wild beasts,” (90). Him comparing other slaves, men, to wild beasts shows how the slaves were horribly treated and demoralized. Douglass also shows how even a slave's mind can be corrupted into believing they are less than human and how he feels that African Americans are not equal to Whites and how they are seen more like animals than humans.
Frederick Douglass wrote his narrative as a freeman, therefore, he is able to reflect on his life as a slave and decode the cryptic artifice of his former slave owners. Douglass lived a harsh life in the south before he made his valiant escape to the north, in order to evade further physical and mental torture. Therefore, Douglass is able to understand what it is like to be an invisible entity with a lack of identity, on physical earth. Metaphors are like string that Douglass uses to weave together a cohesive argument to support the eradication of slavery. As Douglass reminisces on his life he states that he “was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery...” (Douglass) Slavery, in this instance, is taken out of its literal context and liquefied
Killing or lynching of unwanted slaves, mistreatment, torture, segregation, cultural uprooting, disorientation and dislocation were some of the “natural” faith of the slaves. Slaves who survived the inhuman treatments, face their daily lives with “indelible stain” of slavery, indignity, segregated and marginalized and cultural alienation. All these put together, one is faced with a psychological load of permanent lack of identity, consciousness of color and indeed nostalgia for the lost homeland, from where they have been uprooted. Up till today, many former slaves in different parts of the world still bear the blunt scars of slavery, which is difficult - if not impossible - to
Defenders of slavery argued that slavery was not bad for slaves, but Douglass argues that it is terrible. One way it is terrible for a slave is that they're taken from their parents. Douglass is not sure who his father is but he guesses it is the master. he is separated from his mother and he only saw her at night. Douglass says that his master tries to “blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child” (1.3).
The Hardships of Frederick Douglass The few scars on Frederick Douglass’ back told a story. A story that is cruel, inhumane, and unfaithful to mankind. Douglass had been through many difficult points during his life. In particularly, he had an early separation with his mother, he was sent away from his remaining family to work for Hugh Auld, he was taught illegally how to read and write, and he was sent to a new owner who was considered a “slave breaker”. Also, he had tried to escape with other slaves but failed.
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.
Slavery was it positive or negative contribution to the world that we live in today? Well in the eyes of today’s society we see how horrible slavery was and how traumatic it was for those who were unfortunate to be in slavery. The film 12 Years of Slave shows the world of how a man who was free and then taken into slavery. We get a visual of how this man was tortured. However, in the eyes of James Hammond, George Fitzhugh, and John C. Calhoun they all gave us their own reasons on why slavery was a great contribution and why slavery should not be abolished.
Famous former slaves, such as Frederick Douglass, enlightened people as to how slaves were treated by their masters. Douglass 's first master (and possibly his father), Captain Anthony was a cruel man who took pleasure in whipping his slaves. Captain Anthony 's boss, Colonel Edward Lloyd, insisted on extreme subservience from his slaves and punished
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. Thus, in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass is able to represent slaves as dehumanized property with the sole purpose of working their masters land until the day they die. Douglass also successfully represents slaves as intelligent people who wish to learn and begin to see the world for themselves, not through the eyes of a slave master.
Can you imagine being kidnapped from your home and sold during the slave trade? Can you imagine living on a planation being mistreated, beaten, and basically treated like an animal? You will read about such events in Olaudah Equiano autobiography “The interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African”. He wasn’t the first African slave, however the first former slave to share his experience. Equiano demonstrates his narrative by expressing with readers a look into his life from a child being kidnapped and becoming a slave and working towards a free man again.
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 his novel Douglass gives us a critique of slavery that is effective in translating the ideas of how cruel slavery was by using the idea of work to call attention to not only the physical, but also mental abuses dealt to him and
The voyage they took in the boats was dreadful(Slavery in America). The Africans were crammed into the smallest of spaces with many other people for days at a time without seeing sunlight(Slavery in America). Then when they got to America they were forced into service. (Slavery in America) If they disobeyed their owner they were beaten or whipped (Slavery in America). The Africans were slaves for life and if they had children, their children were slaves also(slavery in America).