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.
In return, they created laws called the Black Codes to oppress African Americans. These acts made sure the former slaves signed labor contracts, and they would be fined or forced into unpaid labor if they didn’t. This method of making sure blacks are still laborers was horrible and the former slave-owners loved it.
In the late 1800's slavery was divided and different between the northern and southern states. Roughly 200,000 African Americans were free in America some of which born free and others who bought their freedom. All whom could share stories of cruelty instilled upon them while serving a master. Many stripped from their family as they grew up having to survive on their own. Beaten for whatever reason just to enforce upon them who was in charge and what would not be tolerated, and at times beaten for no reason at all as this was slavery.
Slavery in America was considered to be one of the most devastating acts in history. African American people were torn from their homelands and sold at auction to the highest bidder. Men, women, and children were forced into slavery or born into it, experiencing harsh conditions such as abuse, neglect, and even death. This experience though did not always happen, some slaves were treated fairly and were never punished by their owner’s. Events such like this were recalled by two former slaves by the names of Aunt Harriet Smith and Charlie Smith.
Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs shared the same points in their work but they have different ways of expressing what they feel about their lives. Douglass and Jacobs were treated differently by their masters, had different daily lives, and they faced different challenges. Although they were different they also had some similarities such as the fact that they were born into slavery and that they both escaped it. Most slaves were generally treated badly by their masters. Frederick Douglass was always treated badly by all of the different masters he had throughout his life as a slave.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church. In the narrative, the speaker, an African American slave recalls his removal from his family and denial to the right to learn to read and write
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 most dehumanizing experience of a slave, as introduced by Douglass, includes: humiliation, emotional trauma, inequality, and physical abuse. Douglass, a man of wisdom, character, and determination; fought liberally and strategically, to surmount the odds of being deprived of his humanity while enslaved. Douglass, along with many other slaves, experienced the most gruesome epidemic that America was granted in history. Slaves were treated badly, and often seen as an epitome to society in the south. In the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” he foreshadows his experience as a slave, and explains some of the most dehumanizing experiences, from blood bashed beatings to intense emotional trauma.
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. 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.
One of the main issues that Kate Chopin made evident through the plot of “Desiree’s Baby,” was that Armand treated his slaves poorly because of their race. During the story, Chopin says, “And the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves.” This evidence shows that not only did Armand show racism towards his child when he realized that he had mixed blood but also towards his slaves. Armand treated his slaves the same way that his dad treated them on his plantation. Another idea that makes racism evident during the first of the short story Armand spoke highly of his son and showed acts of love towards the baby and Desiree but he then slowly began to change the way that he treated his family due to the fact of him blaming Desiree for being black and giving him a mixed baby. When Desiree made it clear that she definitely did not have mixed blood, Armand basically disowns his family and makes them leave their
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.
Does being a slave mean you have no human rights and deserve to be treated with such brutality that you wish day in day out you 'd rather be dead? Are you a slave because of the color of your skin? Or the family you have been born into? Many of us are familiar with the word slave but very few open their eyes, dig deep into the past and try to comprehend what slaves went through. The inhumanity they faced for what?
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.
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.
First off, you were treated like trash; by being either separated from your family or traded off to slave owner after slave owner. A slave would be punished for many things. Any form of resist or attempting to run away would result in some kind of punishment to break the slave’s will. Slaves would get in trouble for talking too much, disobeying, and not working hard enough. Slave owners had many punishments for slave it rarely depends how serious the crimes were.