Dehumanizing Aspects Of Slaves In Slavery, By Frederick Douglass

1708 Words7 Pages
Slave narratives depicted a lot of dehumanizing aspects. More times than not slaves felt like property and not real human beings. In these true stories slaves write about how their treatment lead to the breaking of their spirit and motivation. There were plenty examples of harsh working conditions. It was demeaning for the slaves to be deprived of learning and knowledge. In regards to women who were slaves they had to endure a lot of sexual abuse from their masters. The slave owners would also give slaves false illusions on what freedom really meant. It was common for slaves to be removed from their families. Resources were always inadequate to meet their needs. These examples of dehumanization described through personal narratives were all reasons why Americans decided to join the abolition movement. One of the dehumanizing aspects depicted in the slave narratives has to do with the breaking of the slaves’ character and motivation. According to Frederick Douglass one of his slave owners by the name of Mr. Covey made him work in any type of weather condition (Douglas, 37). It did not matter if it was hard rain, snow, or hail. The temperatures were not a factor when it…show more content…
Harriet Jacobs writes in her narrative of constant sexual advances and torment. For example, she states that her master had told her that she was property and must be subject to his will in all things (Jacobs, 216). The master had whispered nasty language in Jacobs’s ear at the young age of fifteen (Jacobs, 216). This is a very frightening situation because she has no protection. The wife of the master could have protected her but did not due to her rage and jealous tendencies. Even though she refused the sexual advances and did not have a consensual relationship with the owner, these experiences were so horrifying that she carried painful feelings with her even when she became free (Jacobs,
Open Document