Dehumanized Slaves In The Narrative Of The Life Of Fredrick Douglass

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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…
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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