Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Essay

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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. Many times throughout Douglass’s life he witnessed the cruel beatings of his fellow slaves. One such example was when Douglass’s aunt Hester was whipped and beaten until she bled profusely (Douglass, 1845/1995, p. 4-5). The cruelty displayed through this occurrence was not uncommon in the slave-holding world. Although it seemed inhumane, the slaveholders of the South held no value in the lives of their numerous slaves. While it is not possible to know the actual feelings of these men, it is possible to speculate about the motivation behind their actions. What the Southern plantation owners knew was that their profitability and income fully depended on the productivity of their slaves. Therefore, strict guidelines and harsh punishment for not following them was imperative to keep their operations successful. What the slave holders failed to consider however, was the well-being and feelings of the workers. This greed for money was quite possibly what hardened their hearts against believing their slaves had actual feelings and needs. Consequently, some of... ... middle of paper ... ...Southern Christian slave owners. He exposed how Christianity was merely a disguise to hide the sin and corruption of their true character and how it was used to justify their actions. Although it was not certain of Douglass’s religious convictions it is apparent that he was adamantly opposed to the fallacy of the religion in the South. Even as great opposition faced him, Frederick Douglass worked for the abolitionist cause faithfully. He labored to bring to light the oppression of his brothers and sisters in bondage with the intention of revealing the misunderstood financial benefit of slavery and denouncing the duplicitous Christianity of the Southern slave owners. Douglass’s work provided an insight into the misunderstood lives of slaves and the ambiguous lives of Southern Christian slave owners and helped to gain positive momentum for the abolitionist movement.

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