The institution of American slavery was fraught with many heart wrenching tails of inhuman treatment endured by those of African descent. In his autobiography Frederick Douglass details the daily horrors slaves faced. In Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave he depicts the plight of slavery with such eloquence that only one having suffered through it could do. Douglass writes on many key topics in slave life such as separation of families, punishment, and the truth that would lead him to freedom, and how these things work to keep slavery intact. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “My mother and I were separated when I was only but an infant…It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.” (22) The bond between mother and child was broken before it had chance to form.
In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property. These stereotypes provided the foundation for the mythology of the plantation. Slave owners liked to think of themselves as the masters and even father-figures of a class of inferior, childlike people who could not survi... ... middle of paper ... ...her former slaves struggled hard to reclaim the right to define his own identity. To name himself was a huge accomplishment, carrying with it the right to tell his own story. Therefore, by him establishing his own identity on his own terms he catapulted his career as an abolitionist and his own claim to freedom.
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).
Slave owners rarely doubted the moral right of one man holding another in subjection. They were degrading human beings and making them suffer awful torments in order to make a profit. This is why 12 Years a Slave is such a compelling story. It describes tragic tales of slaves by giving the full truth and depicting everyday life as a slave in the Antebellum South. Northup describes his journey with his many slave masters and educates his audience on what tasks and treatment slaves had to deal with on a daily basis.
Before, Mrs. Auld treats Douglass like a human being with dignity. She teaches him how to read and teaches him the alphabet. However, her kind actions toward Douglass end after her husband scolds her for teaching Douglass the ABCs. He tells her that it is unlawful and unsafe to teach a slave because once a slave gains power, he becomes unmanageable and one step closer to freedom. As a result, she loses her previous view of slaves as human beings and turns into a beast—full of rage, menace, capriciousness, and impatience.
Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave” reveals the immorality and lack of human dignity of slavery. His writings give the reader an in-depth look at the animal-like treatment the slaves received. He revealed that not just the victims of slavery but also the people who have to participate in it. Not many slaves got to tell their stories of the horrors of slavery in America. Frederick Douglass’ brilliant and insightful writings put many 19th century Americans in perspective but also become the voice of African Americans against the greatest injustice in America.
Equiano felt astonished and scared in the new situation he was in with the strange men. Below the decks, he saw the dejection and sorrow on the faces of other slaves. However, the slaves tried their best ... ... middle of paper ... ...le to buy their freedom. Regardless, Equiano was able to relay his experiences that were not necessarily typical of slavery, but still occurred. As a primary source, Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative provides partial insights on 18th century New World slavery.
Especially during his early years on Colonel Lloyd's plantation, his narration recalls many accounts of whipping, killing, and torture that he observed and heard of on the plantation. Sadly, he begins to notice and even accept common traits possessed by his overseers. For example, one of... ... middle of paper ... ...rkness" (Lauter 1777). Interestingly, it is the innocent minds of children who are not totally corrupted by these ways of thinking yet, that help Douglass continue his goal to read. The heartless act and "irresponsible power" of holding a slave is an evil practice that contradicts the natural good of a human soul.
Douglass’ father was a white man, rumored to be his master, and one of the abominations of slavery that Douglass denounced was the common practice of white men forcing slave women to be their mistresses and begetting children whom they never acknowledged, whom they owned and could flog or sell at whim. As an infant, Douglass was separated from his mother, whom he saw only a few times before she died. He had to endure the horror of seeing his aunt repeatedly flogged and to know that such a fate was in store for him. On a plantation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Douglass never had enough food, clothing, or shelter, and he had to sleep on the ground in an unheated shack. He saw fellow slaves killed with impunity, a... ... middle of paper ... ...f an antislavery weekly newspaper.
Escaping slavery in 1838, Frederick Douglass informed citizens of the cruel abuse that many slaves and he experienced from their masters. Frederick Douglass was a self-educated African American while also being under the chains of slavery. As Douglass rises to admiration upon abolitionists, he writes many stories describing the difficulties and encounters he witnessed and experienced as a slave. In the book, The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass describes the clothing, food and horrific conditions he overcame as a slave. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery by his estranged mother, Harriet Bailey and his unknown white father, assumed to be Captain Anthony.