When Douglass saw how protective Mr. Auld was over keeping him illiterate, he became more curious and concluded that education would be vital to the emancipation of his race. He used his knowledge of the alphabet to eventually learn how to read and write. “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell”(47). The words of Mr. Auld seemed to foretell Douglass too perfectly. It would be too unsafe for whites to educate their slaves because a slave “should know nothing but to obey his master—to do as he is told”(47).
His poignant speeches raised the ire of many Northerners, yet many still felt the slaves deserved their position in life. Douglass, for his own safety, was urged to travel to England where he stayed and spoke until 1847 when he returned to the U.S. to buy his freedom. At that point, he began to write and distribute an anti-slavery newspaper called "The North Star". Not only did he present news to the slaves, but it was also highly regarded as a good source of information for those opposed to slavery. During the Civil war, Doug... ... middle of paper ... ...thony]" (49).
Physical brutality wasn’t the only method white slave owners used to abuse slaves. Douglass shows how white slave owners sustain slavery by keeping the African Americans ignorant. Slaves were not allowed to know how to read or write because the slave owners did not want them to read about the rebellions that were taking place around the world. Becoming literate would have opened the slaves up to the world and understand self-preservation, justice and historical events. They did not want the slaves seeking hope and forming an escape plan to gain their freedom.
They do this by making them work long hours in their unsanitary cotton plantations and whip them when they do not get the work done. Douglass explained that he often witnessed his slave master whip his aunt for escaping. This leaves Douglass traumatized since he had to witness seeing his aunt almost bleed to death. Many slaves question their past life. Such as, Douglass who wanted to know who his mother was since he only knew that his father was a slave master.
Mr. Auld believed that teaching a slave was not only a bad idea, but also against the law. Douglass said, “Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world.” At this point, Douglass mentioned that he had a completely new realization, a new thought that black men are slaves because of their lack of knowledge. Douglass understands the main function that literacy plays in a white-dominated society during that time. Teaching a few things to a young slave will make him "unmanageable" and "unfit" to perform his job as a slave. Education will raise a slave’s self-conscious mind and help him to understand the value of a free life.
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.
However, slaves also left behind horrific stories of beatings, lynching’s, and of rape their owners did to them. What Remember Me attempts to bring out is the good and the bad of slavery, the cruel harshness one had to endure, and the love and compassion few owners gave to their slaves. In doing this Charles Joyner received a lot of criticism against his statements, but what he is credited with is bringing out a new light in slavery alongside the Georgia Coast few had ever seen. Works Cited Joyner, C. (2011). Remember me: Slave life in costal Georgia.
In the well-written narrative The Life of Fredrick Douglass, the author, and former slave known as Fredrick Douglass, uses multiple examples of brutal whippings and severe punishments to describe the terrible conditions that African American slaves faced in the south. Douglass’s purpose for writing this narrative was to show the physical and emotional pain that slaves had to endure from their owners. According to Fredrick Douglass, “adopted slaveholders are the worst” and he proves his point with his anecdotes from when he was a slave; moreover, slave owners through marriage weren’t used to the rules of slaveholding so they acted tougher. He also proves that Christian slave owners weren’t always holier, they too showed no mercy towards their slaves and Douglass considered them religious hypocrites. Like most southern slave owners Thomas Auld was a cruel master who always disciplined his slaves for their wrong doings.
Toni Morrison consistently uses repetition to emphasize that slavery has a mental effect on blacks. One significant instance where she uses repetition was during the flashback Paul D had about the various times he has escaped from slavery throughout his lifetime. The author repeats variations of the phrase “he tried hard not to love it” emphasizing that he enjoyed the freedom that he felt while escaping because there was no owner or master to rule over him, but he made himself not adore it (316). He knew that once he was brought back into slavery he would miss the independence he experienced, so to spare himself the pain and longing he tried to not appreciate his escapes. Slavery has affected his thinking because it made him restrict his feelings.
Frederick Douglas and Harriet Jacobs both wrote of this in their books. Douglass was separated from his mother at an early age in order to prevent any feelings of attachment to her. His father was a white man, he might have been the man responsible for separating him from his mother. As a young child on the plantation, Douglass was exposed to the abuse of slave women received from their masters. Thi... ... middle of paper ... ...rson's writing meant nothing legally, it helped out when escaping to freedom.