Summary In The View From The Bottom Rail

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The story “The View from the Bottom Rail” is set at the time of the ending of the Civil War when slaves about to be freed from their masters. Knowing that the Union soldiers were close, the slave master would paint the soldier as “long horns on their head, and tushes (pointed teeth) in their mouths, and eyes sticking out like a cow!” (Davidson & Lytle, p. 177). Obliviously, this wasn’t true. With freedom coming, some slaves were still loyal to their masters. Yet, the slave masters still consider slaves to be the bottom rail of society. The bottom rail was considered the “lowest level of America’s social and economic scale” (Davidson & Lytle, p. 179). The slaves were portrayed to be dumb or stupid because state governments discouraged slaves…show more content…
Most of the slaves were in their 80s at the time of the interview. The Civil War was already over 70 years ago. Some of the accuracy of these stories came into question. The valuable information is remembered, but a lot was forgotten. An average slave’s life was 50 years, so to be interviewed in their 80s would have meant that the slave was treated better than the others or was too little at the time of freedom to remember. Another issue that came up was ex-slaves or blacks were still not accepted into main society due to lack of…show more content…
Men owned men because of the color of their skin. These ex-slaves were uneducated and were scared of any change in their lives. What could be theirs today, may not be theirs tomorrow. It’s a shame that people had to live in fear of the government taking something away from them and all they did was share part of their lives to be documented and the documentation was not even accurate. “Freedom had come to a nation of four million slaves, and it changed their lives in deep and important ways. But for many years after the war put an end to human bondage, too many freedpeople still had to settle for a view from the bottom rail” (Davidson & Lytle, p.

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