They did not want the slaves seeking hope and forming an escape plan to gain their freedom. Douglass stated that becoming literate “had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out (Puchner, Martin).” A second theme present in this narrative is how slavery not only damaged African Americans, but the white slave owners as well. It shows how slave owners thrived on the power of “owning” human beings. Douglass states how being a slave owner was harmful to the owner’s moral sense of health because it is unnatural for a human to own another human/ humans.
Frederick Douglass illustrates in “My Bondage and My Freedom” how slaves were psychologically and socially oppressed. From the beginning of the life of the slave, he and/or she, is psychologically manipulated to believe that slaves belong to an inferior class of humans. Frederick Douglass explains how people of African heritage were denied the knowledge of their descent, and how he never met a slave who could tell their age, birthdate, or ancestors. The lineage of a person is one important aspect of their lives but slaves are deprived of their ancestry to convince them that they are not worth as human beings. “The practice of separating children from their mother, …is in harmony with the grand aim of slavery, which, always and everywhere, is to reduce man to a level with the brute” (Douglass 24).
Through his Narrative and his speeches, Douglass reasoned that if everyone within the institution of slavery was tarnished by it, then it must be unnatural, and therefore a threat to society as a whole that must be removed. Slavery not only ruined the lives of those who were oppressed by it, but also the lives of the oppressors, because slavery was capable of ruining the family life of slave owners. Douglass obs... ... middle of paper ... ...slavery can no longer be hidden from the rest of the world, because political ideas possess no boundaries. Douglass concludes with a poem entitled "The Triumph of Freedom," to stress that freedom is unavoidable. By showing the detrimental effects of slaveholding on Thomas and Sophia Auld, Mr.
Caliban’s lack of authority because of his condition as a slave is immediately contrasted to that... ... middle of paper ... ...tly subjugate Trinculo. This brilliant strategic move on Caliban’s part further perpetuates the cycle of subjugation. Once again it is the victim of slavery who acts as the agent in establishing and perpetuating slavery. In trying to benefit himself by breaking free of slavery, Caliban instead benefits the very practice he so despises. Slavery exerts its power in every aspect of Caliban’s life.
Mr. Auld told his wife education ruins a slave. After hearing their words, Douglass began to see the life of an illiterate black slave only increased the future amount of slaves. Slaveholders used it as a weapon to rob black men of their knowledge. Ultimately, whites remained in power while controlling the lives of blacks through the destruction of their homes and families. Mr. Auld believed that teaching a slave was not only a bad idea, but also against the law.
In the well-written narrative The Life of Fredrick Douglass, the author, and former slave known as Fredrick Douglass, uses multiple examples of brutal whippings and severe punishments to describe the terrible conditions that African American slaves faced in the south. Douglass’s purpose for writing this narrative was to show the physical and emotional pain that slaves had to endure from their owners. According to Fredrick Douglass, “adopted slaveholders are the worst” and he proves his point with his anecdotes from when he was a slave; moreover, slave owners through marriage weren’t used to the rules of slaveholding so they acted tougher. He also proves that Christian slave owners weren’t always holier, they too showed no mercy towards their slaves and Douglass considered them religious hypocrites. Like most southern slave owners Thomas Auld was a cruel master who always disciplined his slaves for their wrong doings.
Since slave masters did not think slaves could assimilate to the American culture, slave masters kept them as workers; therefore, slaves were not given an education, leaving them illiterate, and thereby leaving them without any knowledge on how the American political system works. Slave owners thought that if slaves would become literate, that slaves would start to question the rights they have. Frederick argues that slaves l... ... middle of paper ... ... “Prior to [Captain Auld’s] conversion, he relied upon his own depravity to shield and sustain him in his savage barbarity; but after his conversion, he found religious sanction and support for the slaveholding cruelty” (Douglass 883). This means that slaveholders use Christianity as a tool to show that they are good at heart and are doing God’s work, but they use it as a divine right to brutally beat slaves. This is what Frederick wants other abolitionists to recognize, especially the abolitionist women.
Also, we will talk about the power that the slaveholders got from controlling their slaves and the fear that the slaveholders maybe had to understand how they were changed. Thomas Auld had been a poor men and he came into possession of all his slaves by marriage. He was a cowardly cruel slaveholder and he didn’t have the ability to hold slaves. He also realized that his incapable of managing his slaves. However, he wanted the power and wished to be called master by his slaves (Douglass, p. 76~77).
Throughout his autobiography Frederick Douglass talks of the many ways a slave and master would be corrupted by the labor system that was so deeply entrenched in the south as a result of demand for cotton, and other labor-intensive crops. The master justified his actions through a self-serving religion and a belief that slaves were meant to be in their place. Masters were usually very cruel and self centered. Most had never been in the fields with the slaves. They didn’t understand the conditions that they were putting the slaves under.
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass depicts his life as a plantation slave, offering misinformed northern Christians and reformers in-depth accounts of the physical and emotional cruelties of slavery. As Douglass recounts his relationship and interactions with the harsh Mr. Covey, he disputes the basis on which southern slaveowners defended slavery. Douglass dispels their claims of encompassing a Christian duty to civilize blacks who they deemed naturally inferior by proving how they actively worked to keep slaves from assimilating and contributing to society. Southern slaveowners claimed that they were upholding their Christian duty by engaging in slavery, rescuing slaves from a life of struggle and faithlessness.