Dehumanized Slaves In The Narrative Of The Life Of Fredrick Douglass

analytical Essay
1200 words
1200 words

Imagine being ripped apart from your mother as a child. Imagine watching family and friends receiving the stinging blow of a whip. Imagine religious men telling you that this is the will of god as they work you as close to death as they can. While difficult to imagine, this occurred to some of those who were enslaved in the early United States of America. One of the most heart wrenching of these accounts comes from a man born as a slave, Frederick Douglass. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an example of how some early Americans dehumanized slaves and how Fredrick Douglass’ viewed this atrocity. Despite this, Douglass found mental and physical means to fight this treatment. In early America, slaves were dehumanized by their masters for various reasons. These reasons were to quell a fear of revolt, to minimize the chance of escape, and to have a better profit from the slaves’ labor (Wilson-Gonzalez “12 Mar. 2015.”). These reasons were important because the master had paid a price to acquire his slave and the master would want to see his investment grow. Incidentally, Nat Turner’s rebellion sparked a change in the south, …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the narrative of the life of frederick douglass is an example of how some early americans dehumanized slaves.
  • Explains that slaves were dehumanized by their masters for various reasons, such as to quell a fear of revolt, to minimize the chance of escape, and to profit from their labor.
  • Analyzes how slave masters used physical and psychological methods to subdue their slaves to prevent revolt and escape and profit from slave labor.
  • Opines that psychological methods used to subdue slaves are the more dehumanizing of the two methods. the ability to make decisions was removed through restricting access to education.
  • Opines that if you teach a nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. he would become unmanageable and of no value to his master.
  • Analyzes how slave masters kept their slaves dependent on them, preventing them from making a better life for themselves, independent of their master. douglass fought against psychological dehumanization.
  • Analyzes how frederick douglass saw the methods of dehumanization as a way for masters to not treat slaves as people.
  • Analyzes how the narrative of the life of frederick douglass shows how slaves were dehumanized so that the masters could treat them in any manner they saw fit.

To themselves, the master saw this as a way of protecting their profits and preventing a revolt. They did this through physical and mental methods which did not consider the slaves’ humanity. By bypassing that element of humanity, slave owners felt free to whip and hang slaves. By not allowing them to become educated, slave masters severely limited the slave’s ability to see his true position in life. Together, these two methods proved effective. However, when Douglass saw past them, he was able to fight. He educated himself and weathered the pain of slavery. He resisted his masters’ attempts to dehumanize him. The beatings he received only strengthened his resolve to be

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