He didn’t believe anywhere in the United States is free because there is always the chance that a black man can be taken back into slavery because of the Fugitive Slave Laws. He believed that if a slave had the power to read or write, they had the power to free themselves. Frederick Douglass became the leading black abolitionist and one the most famous speakers of his time. His words about his treatment as a slave were a powerful weapon against slavery. People were starting to question whether he was a slave or not, which motivated him to publish his first autobiography.
In his Narrative, he wrote the story of his miserable life as a slave and his fight to be free. His motivation behind the character (himself) was to make it through another day so that maybe one day he might be free. By speaking out, fighting as an abolitionist and finally becoming an author, Douglass's transformation from a slave into a man. In a preface of Douglass' autobiography, William Lloyd Garrison writes, "I am confident that it is essentially true in all its statements; that nothing has been set down in malice, nothing exaggerated, nothing drawn from the imagination; that it comes short of the reality, rather than overstates a single fact in regard to SLAVERY AS IT IS. "(Garrison, 34).
Some slaves were determined to be free, even at the expense of their own lives. Franklin describes the different ways of how slaves would try to escape, and the main reasons why they were not submissive to the system or content with their condition of having security from their slave master. 2. What is the book’s thesis (the author’s main argument or interpretation of the theme)? The book’s thesis is that the overseers and slave masters had a difficult time of managing slaves on the plantations.
In the autobiography, “The Narrative of Frederik Douglas” by Frederik Douglass, Douglass discussed his experience as a slave and how he wished to escape slavery. He wanted to break free physically and mentally from slavery. Although, it’s hard for slaves to receive their freedom due to slave laws and immoral treatment from their slave masters. Douglass decided to escape from his slave masters corrupt plantation and migrated to the north in search of his freedom. He escaped to the north after he self-teaches himself how to read and write and discovers about the abolitionist movement.
Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography to provide a look into the world of a slave. His audience varied, from abolitionists, to whites that were on the fence about the issue, but his purpose remained: to allow non-slaves to learn about the horrors of slavery. In this autobiography, Douglass dispelled readers’ “illusions about slavery” by merely telling his true story, an everyman tale for slaves. Douglass worked on plantations in the Maryland area, and those plantations were considered to be easier than those of Georgia or Alabama, as unruly or ornery slaves were “sold to a Georgia [slave] trader” as punishment (54). Douglass may very well have been one of the better-treated slaves of his era, and in revealing the horrors of his relatively good circumstances, he underscores the overall mistreatment of slaves.
The key arguments that Frederick Douglass tries to vindicate are that slavery denies slaves of their identity, slavery is also detrimental for the slave owner, and slavery is ungodly. The first element of slavery that Frederick attacks is that slavery puts constraints on a slave’s individuality. In his narrative, he states that slaves were compared to animals by the way the slave owner treated them because slaves were considered as property and not as human beings. When slaves came into the new world, they were sold and given new names and over time were supposed to assimilate to the American culture. 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.
"The proprietor of this thing, the mover of this instrument, the soul and the reason of this body, the source of life, was the master" (p.7). Masters also considered their slaves to be inferior and, t... ... middle of paper ... ... Gutman points out, "Slave families were subject to masters decisions and behavior, which might result in the sale and geographic separation of family members" (p.161). Once a slave was purchased their new home and family would be the slave colony they were brought to. Here they would establish new family, identity and friendship. In conclusion, Slavery in American Society is successful in providing critical evidence on the significance of the world the slaves made for themselves.
In their writings, they both exhibit their frustration for people who call themselves Christian and continue to engage in slavery practices. Stowe brought to life the reality of the humanity of slaves, which may or may not have been realized by the majority of slaveholders. Eliza, the main character in chapter five, was a slave to Mr. and Mrs. Shelby. Mr. Shelby sold Eliza's only son to save his property. Mr. Shelby is depicted as a businessman who happens to own slaves and Eliza's son is apart of a business deal.
What would it be like if we were a part of the slave years? To get an inside look of slavery we look through the eyes of a former slave Frederick Douglass. Through his experience of being grown into slavery in the south made him re-evaluate his life knowing he was worth more than being treated as someone else’s property. Not only was Douglass a part of the plantation system, city life, and brutal whipping but he was put into history as a great role model defining the true meaning of life. All people today should show respect to African Americans due to their struggle in reaching freedom and coming across difficulty.
Despite this seemingly insurmountable reality, Frederick Douglass, a slave for over twenty years, was able to resist. He gradually became aware of the psychology of the slave owners, and the immense power that they wielded. Douglass was able to escape the oppressive, exploitative, and controlling power structure of slavery by resolving to overcome his forced ignorance, and to unite his fellow slaves, realizing, along the way, his sense of self and innate integrity. Slaveholders are able to perpetuate the existence of slavery through the ignorance of their slaves. Keeping a slave ignorant about their date of birth, their paternity, as well as their capability to read and write, enables slaveholders to retain unchallenged control over the slave.