In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass establishes for us the many factors that lead to the continual enslavement of the black race by connecting his own plight to that of other slaves as a plea for the abolition of slavery. The evil of slavery infected every master to pervert the truth to his own satisfaction and Douglass explains how slavery corrupts the humanity of both slave and master. The legal system was also not an option for slaves to turn to for help because they had no legal rights. The fear of losing friends and never being able to trust anyone again was enough to keep many back in bondage. And the lack of education left their minds dulled to any thoughts beyond what they already knew which was just their own miserable condition.
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).
His journey was rocky and his battle was difficult but,“…after a long, tedious effort for years, I finally succeeded in learning how to write.” (49) Knowledge set him free. By Frederick Douglass simply learning the basic fundamentals of reading and writing, he imposed a threat to his superiors. His narrative is a direct product of his enslavement; his powerful narrative brought light to a situation. Douglass is exactly what slave-owners feared. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery; as a result of Frederick’s continued resistance against his unfortunate “birthright”, he continued on to be an educated adult, a famous abolitionist, and inspirational orator.
Douglass believed that since Auld obtained slave owning from marriage, it made him more of an unpleasant master because he wasn’t used to being around slavery and having so much power. Fredrick Douglass also was convinced that religious slaveholders were false Christians because they became more self-righteous and thought that God gave them the power to hold slaves. By telling stories to the reader, Douglass hoped to bring awareness to the harsh subject of slavery and show how the slaves kept hope during these miserable times.
Mr. Auld told his wife education ruins a slave. After hearing their words, Douglass began to see the life of an illiterate black slave only increased the future amount of slaves. Slaveholders used it as a weapon to rob black men of their knowledge. Ultimately, whites remained in power while controlling the lives of blacks through the destruction of their homes and families. Mr. Auld believed that teaching a slave was not only a bad idea, but also against the law.
The Corrupting Effect of Slavery on Slave Owners Frederick Douglass is one of the most well-known, powerful, and talked about anti-slavery advocators of his time. In his book, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he describes his journey as a slave in America in an attempt to show the people how unjust and unnatural the practice of slavery really is. Throughout his book he clearly points out the negative effects of slavery. When most people think about the negative aspects of slavery it is from the slave’s point of view. However, Frederick Douglass describes how slavery is harmful not only to slaves, but to slave owners as well.
In the annals of American history slavery was a dark time. Although many abhorred the practice of slavery, few had the courage to come forth and proclaim the depravity of it. In Frederick Douglass’s (1845/1995) autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the author addressed the horrors of slavery and clearly displayed the condition of his fellow slaves. Frederick Douglass wrote his account of the mistreatment of the slaves in order to expose the fallacy of the economic argument for slavery and condemn the hypocrisy of the Southern Christian slave owners. Douglass’s work revealed how the slaves were treated as though they had neither value nor rights as human beings.
The cruelty shown to individual slaves in individual moments contributes greatly to the fear with which slaves view their masters. That same fear, though, also contributes to the absolute deference most slaves had towards their masters. Douglass describes the so-called “honor” associated with being a slave that is chosen to go to the Great House Farm. Being selected means that a slave is out of the fields, and away from the punishing abuse of his overseer. Douglass compares the slave’s desire for recognition to that of a white man in politics, writing, “[t]he competitors for this office sought as diligently to please their overseers, as the office-seekers in the political parties seek to please and deceive the people.” That is to say that just as lower classes of white men will do whatever it takes to climb the ranks to a better status, a slave will gladly exchange pride for the safety that comes with an overseer’s
In his narrative, Douglass layers the many brutal, cruel, inhumane, and true components of slavery in his life, underlying each story with a political motive and relation. This method of writing was for his audience removed from slavery, those ignorant of slavery, uninformed, misunderstood, and those who were fortunate to have freedom. Douglass illustrates living conditions, experiences, tragedies, and struggles to great depths. Everywhere, African Americans escaped the binds of slavery due to Frederick Douglass' determination. He revolutionized America, being one of the greatest leaders of the abolition, being the reason for so many freed lives, and leading to the complete abolition and illegality of slavery in America.
Schoolteacher on the other hand treated his slaves without any respect because he did not believe they deserved any. He use to measure them with string as if they were animals and ask them foolish questions in order to conduct research. He also involved his nephews in these dehumanizing acts by persuading them to physically abuse the slaves, while he watched. At one point in the book, the narrator discusses Schoolteacher's views on how Garner ran the plantation, " the spoiling these p... ... middle of paper ... ...th a degree of trust and respect he was still a slave owner and that had definite effects on his slaves. Yes, Schoolteacher had a more devastating effect on his slaves because he held absolutely no respect or compassion for any of his slaves, but these two characters were not very different.