In this all who read his life story are compelled to identify with it. The separation, harsh punishment, and the forced ignorance slaves suffered in bondage in inexcusable but much can be learned from this tragic period in American history. Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave. New York: The New American Library, Inc. 1968
Douglass no longer found solace in her presence but inst... ... middle of paper ... ...ce, Mr. Hopkins allows the demonic practice of slavery to influence his actions. Through the insincere actions of the preaching slaveholders, it becomes evident that the need to assert one's dominance over slaves results in the degradation of moral judgment. Douglass characterizes the cruelty slave owners hold over the slaves. The harsh treatment of slaves results from the need to establish the master's influence and power over the slaves. Through the depictions of Mrs. Auld, Mr.
Douglass addresses the barbarity that overcomes the slaveholder in a testimony against slavery and discusses the negative results through deep characterization, emotional scenes, and plausible evidence. With the use of character development, Douglass retains an important component in his argument by illustrating the alteration of Sophia Auld whose “kindest heart turned…into that of a demon”(39). He states that a human being having control of another has a soul-killing effect on his moral righteousness and results in the loss of innocence. At first Douglass writes, “The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence, and none left without feeling better for not having seen her. Her face was made of heavenly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music”(39).
Therefore, 12 Years a Slave is a gripping memoir that addresses the diversity of slavery in full color and provides a clear warning of the moral consequences slavery disregards. The slaves were not the only ones that were affected. Slave owners were desensitized and stripped of their morals. They forgot that blacks were humans too. The natural human interactions of love, justice, and respect were lost at the time this work was written.
However, he wanted the power and wished to be called master by his slaves (Douglass, p. 76~77). He became a cruel man from possessing all of his wife’s slaves and becoming a slaveholder. He had to be cruel to be looked like a powerful slavehol... ... middle of paper ... ...out his master and mistress who were brutalized. He just wrote about his lifetime stories, so it’s not easy to find out actually how and why slaveholders were changed by slavery. I thought it was because of the power or the fear they got from becoming slaveholders or maybe both the power and the fear were the reasons, because we can say that the fear made slaveholders want the power.
Misery of Slavery Exposed in Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beacher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin addresses the issue of slavery in close accordance with the style of Frederick Douglas' narrative. A theme that Stowe impresses strongly upon the reader is the degenerative effects of slavery upon both the slave and the master. Frequently in the novel the issue is raised . Even Mrs. Shelby recognizes the depravity and admits that slavery, "is a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing- a curse to the master and a curse to the slave!"(45). The injustices of slavery are frequently identified in the novel but, of course, the practice is continued.
Douglass then realized the power of an education: "I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty–to wit, the white man's power to enslave the black man... I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom" (Douglass 34). While Douglass struggled with his placement in life, others abused theirs. Henry Thoreau makes notice of the lax and lethargic behavior of t... ... middle of paper ... ...t "on the errands of humanity" (Thoreau 2052); thus, these are the men who passed the Fugitive Slave Act, these are the men who own men as chattel; and these are the men who have succumbed to the barbarity of slavery. But Douglass and Thoreau are the men who fought slavery with all of their being.
By showing the detrimental effects of slaveholding on Thomas and Sophia Auld, Mr. Covey, and others, as well as proving that slavery is a practice that degrades the founding qualities of America, Douglass proves that slavery is unnatural and evil, and should be outlawed not only for the greater good of all society, but because it the great sin and shame of America . Bibliography Douglass, Frederick, and David W. Blight. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave: with related documents. 2nd ed.
In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property. These stereotypes provided the foundation for the mythology of the plantation. Slave owners liked to think of themselves as the masters and even father-figures of a class of inferior, childlike people who could not survi... ... middle of paper ... ...her former slaves struggled hard to reclaim the right to define his own identity. To name himself was a huge accomplishment, carrying with it the right to tell his own story. Therefore, by him establishing his own identity on his own terms he catapulted his career as an abolitionist and his own claim to freedom.
The fictionalized portrait he penned in “The Heroic Slave” is similar to the personal experience related in his autobiographical work. Both works illustrate the cruel and inhumane treatment of slaves by their masters. Physical abuse, in the form of beatings and inadequate nourishment, is a common prevalence as was mental abuse, in the forms of derogatory language and the separation of family units. The pursuit of freedom from slavery is a shared theme of these two compositions. Douglass felt his pursuit was best served by an education.