He was selling off her children, though, one by one. ”(192) This shows how slaves were not treated like humans at all and rather as animals. Not only that but the slave owner plays it off nonchalantly, because to them it's just an everyday occurrence.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an enticing tale of Douglas as he changes from slave to man. Near the beginning of the book, his first witness of a whipping reveals the entrance to the horrors that would come throughout his experience with enslavement. “No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim…” (4) it displays the physical, emotional, and spiritual breaking of an individual; powerful words to create an understanding of the terror of slavery. Beating into absolute submission strikes a sense of sadness, pity, justice in the reader that encourages them to see slavery in a different light. Throughout his narrative he continues to attack these points to encourage similar feelings of pity and acknowledgement “to enlighten white readers about both the realities of slavery as an institution and the humanity of black people as individuals deserving of full human rights.”.
Harriet Ann Jacobs known to the public as Linda Brent and Frederick Douglass both were the victims of slavery and succeed to escape its clutches. As they possessed the skill of literateness, after becoming free members of the American society, they decided to write down their experiences of living as slaves to share what they had witnessed. Consequently, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” is the fruit of Linda Brent’s labor, and Frederic Douglass delivered his testimony in “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”. Additionally, this is not the point where their similarities diminish. They were also involved into abolitionist movement and work as social reformers which gained them recognition and esteem amid Northerners. However, it is crucial to acknowledge how much resemblance their ordeals included before the liberation in terms of gender
The Douglass’s Narrative reveals very many things about the lives of the American slaves. The lives of the slaves were very hard. They were treated unfairly treated. American slave women were used for giving birth and having kids against their will. As soon as the slave child was born, they would sell the slave child.
“With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression.” This relates to the hardships and the fact that the people don’t recognize how terrible it is. And that these meanings of these “free” words mean something else to him and other slaves. He shows that the changes are hard but once they are made everything will be peaceful. Rhetorical features and strategies are Douglass’ forte’ in engaging with the audience.
Slavery is wicked and gory and monstrous and that is well known today but during the time it was well known. In Frederick Douglass’s, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass tries to persuade everyone to stop the madness and recognize how awful slavery is; to do this he uses comparison and realization leading to the reader being blown away by this one slave’s life story. The goal of Douglass’s writing makes the reader see slavery in a different light. This is why Douglass’s writing is such a heavy read. To get his point across he talks about how monstrous his whole life is, starting for the very beginning when “... the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it” (Douglass 1.4) Douglass had to go through
The acts of cruelty break down the slaves bodily and mentally, having no respect for human life. An example of this cruelty was when the slaveholders abandoned Douglass’ grandmother and “made her welcome to the privilege of supporting herself… in perfect loneliness; thus virtually turning her out to die!” (Douglass 48) Douglass uses these experiences as the logical basis for his argument, being that slavery is unjustified acts of hatred and dehumanization.
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.
This reminder of Douglass’ slave pastone of the many way that Douglass tries to humanize the issue slavery. The personal connection allows the audience to see slaves as the humans rather than the property they shown as. In addition to trying to humanize slaves,Douglass also brings to light the way they are treated by their masters. He states, “There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death,” showcasing not only the difficulty of a slave’s life, but how their lives hang constantly in jeopardy. Douglass explains to the audience, abolitionist and others who wish for slavery to end, that they allow murder to take place as slavery
The beginning of the 17th Century marked the practice of slavery which continued till next 250 years by the colonies and states in America. Slaves, mostly from Africa, worked in the production of tobacco and cotton crops. Later , they were employed or ‘enslaved’ by the whites as for the job of care takers of their houses. The practice of slavery also led the beginning of racism among the people of America. The blacks were restricted for all the basic and legally privileged rights. Not only them but others outsiders (to America) such as Asian-Americans , native Americans etc.
One of Douglass’s main claims is that the slaves cannot celebrate that which is not theirs. The “blessings in which” the whites celebrate are “shared by [them], not by [the slaves]” (Douglass). Frederick Douglass’s antithesis and parallelism prove that the slaves cannot celebrate freedom on the Fourth of July because they are not free. In order for all Americans to be able to celebrate independence, the injustices must be combated. The antithesis in Douglass’s claim illustrates how different the two groups are; the white celebrate an invalid freedom while the slaves mourn the absence of their freedom.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
The slave parents couldn’t even protect their children from the will of their master. There was some mercy shown to slaves by their owner’s. The Christmas holiday, the one break from work during the year for slaves, was anticipated with excitement because it allowed separated family members to meet and spend a week together. To this day, African American families hold family reunions in
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.
These actions truly display how during this time period if you were not in control those that held more power than you would exploit you in any way possible. This excerpt truly displays the evil greed of humans. Although this excerpt does a good job at describing the process it does not give the viewpoint or feelings of the slaves. Olaudah Equiano’s account of the Atlantic crossing gives a good insight into the confusion and horrors faced by the slaves. In his excerpt he describes his complete confusion and fear revolving around what is going to happen to him.