This repression and ill-treatment yielded psychological disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and caused some slaves to harm themselves and others. There are even accounts of mothers killing their own children to save them from being separated and enslaved. In order to cut costs and prevent rebellion, slave families were separated at the whim of their slaveholder. The possibility of separation was an ever-present threat to any and all slaves. The principle of partus sequitur ventrem meant that any child born to a slave woman would be also be a slave, regardless of who the father was.
Douglass for example emphasized the importance of education for slaves. Douglass is a first had observer of the strategy of slave owners to keep their slaves ignorant. By keeping slave uneducated they are unable to express the horrible things that happen to them to the world. Hugh Auld forces his wife to stop teaching Douglass to read (auld stopping teaching quote) , so Douglass teaches himself. For him learning to read was a major turning point in his quest for freedom and it enabled him to put out his book, which would inspire many to turn against slavery.
From this, derives a bond with the reader that pushes their understanding of the evil nature of slavery that society deemed appropriate therefore enhancing their understanding of history. While only glossed over in most classroom settings of the twenty-first century, students often neglect the sad but true reality that the backbone of slavery, was the dehumanization of an entire race of people. To create a group of individuals known for their extreme oppression derived from slavery, required plantation owner’s of the South to constantly embedded certain values into the lives of their slaves. To talk back means to be whipped. To fail to do work to a respectable level means to be sold to another plantation and ripped away from one’s family.
The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass presents an insight into the power differences between a slave and his master. In this account , Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave but also the owner. The “poison of irresponsible power” that masters hold has a damaging effect on their morals and beliefs (Douglas 39). This immense control in the hands of a person will break their kind heart and finest feelings turning them into those of a demon. Douglass uses flashbacks , deep characterization, and appeals to the emotions to address the negative effects of slavery.
Douglass has shown how religious slaveholders are the worst especially when entertainment comes into play. The first being from one of his slaveholders Master Thomas, he whipped a young woman while reading a quote from the scripture to explain his reason for whipping her. The next example was with his other Master Mr.Covey, he would go to church and preach the word but come back beating slaves and going against the almighty God. The last example that is shown is again shown with Mr.Covey, he was guilty of compelling his woman slave to commit the sin of adultery. All of the examples illustrate that religious slaveholders are worst than non-religious slaveholders.
For example, in 1852 a woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a book called Uncle Tom’s Cabin to portray those thoughts. For instance, author Nicole Bianchi claimed, “ Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin presented the thesis that Southern chattel slavery was immoral...Stowe was able to change the thinking of many Americans. Her compassionate portrayal of the Africans impelled Americans to look upon them as fellow human beings” (The Inkwell Musings). Abolitionists, like Stowe, were able to change the minds of many Americans to show the slave owners were immoral because of that fact they were enslaving innocent people. Many abolitionists believed and argued that African Americans deserve the same rights as everyone else since slaves are human
explicitly states Margaret’s motivation for doing that: ‘The slave mother … killed her child rather than see it taken back to slavery’ (557). These slaves saw death a better alternative than slavery and for the love they had for their children, they preferred killing them than allowing them see the dehumanizing institution of slavery. The slave women have always suffered as an effect of slavery. They were robbed of every possession – even their motherhood. That is why Sethe’s act of destroying her own creation becomes the subject and order of controversies.
Hannah Tay Yee Ern Mrs. McNeill 3A 5 November 2014 Psychological Impacts of Slavery As Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897), an African-American writer who escaped from slavery, once said: “When they told me my new-born babe was a girl, my heart was heavier than it had ever been before. Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.” Indeed, slavery was an obstacle to emancipation. It left both physical and emotional scars on those who were enslaved. They were shackled to the past - the unforgettable past. In the historical fiction novel Beloved, written by Toni Morrison, the lives of female and male slaves were explicitly described.
In the case of bondwomen they lived through two-fold submission. Despite of being owned by white men as slaves they were also subject to the sexual claims of white masters. Added to the hardships that derived from their condition as slaves, which their male counterparts also endured, they had to suffer the consequences of being slave women, which involved experiences that were specific to their own kind. Jacobs going through the bitter spell of slavery delivers a baby girl. It is interesting to quote her when she knew that her baby was a girl.
Sethe, a Slave to Her Past Numerous authors in American literature produce characters whose origins are unusual, unfamiliar, and often mysterious in the work. Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved successfully introduced a character that resembles the features mentioned above. Sethe, a young black woman born into slavery escapes from extreme bondage in the Nineteenth Century in the United States with memories bounded with torture. The novel has many scenes that are very striking, most of which have to deal with the treatment of the African-Americans. Slavery has always been one of the appalling phenomena in our world.
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.
Through stories such as that of Frederick Douglass, and that of Harriet Jacobs you can truly see how despicable the act of slavery was. These true nonfictional stories show the true dynamic of how male and female slaves were treated. Slaves were physically and mentally degraded, without shelter and clothes. Working both day and night, with their masters never being pleased. These people were dehumanized and taken advantage of, with no respect to the fact that they were human beings.
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.
Inhumane What is a slave? The word slave in the dictionary is as stated; a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. Many have heard the word slave before but few are familiar with the brutality and horrors slaves endured in the past and still sometimes today. Through the book Kindred, written by Octavia E Butler, the movie Roots, Incidents in the life of a slave girl seven years concealed, and the diary of a slave we are exposed to some of the gruesome and appalling ways slaves were treated. Not only are we exposed to the physical inhumanity but we also get a glimpse of the emotional expedition slaves overcame and overcome on a day to day basis.