Slavery In Frederick Douglass

analytical Essay
1044 words
1044 words

Slavery is often seen as a taboo topic; it is there but nobody really wants to speak about it. We learn about it in school, we read about it online, we try to keep it in the past but we never stop to think about what slaves truly went through. Yes, we know they were whipped. Yes, we know they worked on cotton farms and that the children were often torn from their mothers. But why? Why were slaves lives so miserable during the 1800s and why did they not try harder to escape? In his autobiography, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, Douglass expresses the horrors of slavery and the complacent nature of the slaves by describing the slaves work conditions, their lack of personal life, and the punishments they frequently …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how douglass expresses the horrors of slavery and the complacent nature of the slaves in his autobiography.
  • Explains that slaves had no family to help them in their life change and were often lost. they grow up without knowing how old they are and are complacent in taking orders from other.
  • Analyzes how frederick describes the slaves' working conditions, stating that the limitations on clothing prevents them from branching out on their own.
  • Explains that whipping was one of the most common and most known forms of punishment for the slaves.
  • Analyzes how the slave's personal lives, work conditions, and punishments were components as to why they never fought back as hard as they should have.

Out of all the different ways slaves were punished, this was the one that was most highlighted when it was taught in school. Frederick Douglass describes in detail the whippings, describing it as “causing the blood to run half an hour at the time” (Douglass 5). The punishments were so harsh because without them, the slave owners had nothing to keep the workers in line. They had already taken their children, they had nowhere to live so what else did they have to lose. The whippings were also used as examples for other slaves to stay in line and not cause trouble. Another, more disguised, form of punishment for the slaves was the long work hours. At first glance, this may not seem like much of a punishment but day after day of long hours and working in the direct heat can lead to undesired consequences and wounds such as cuts and calluses on the hands as described in the textbook. The long work hours also prevented slaves from mingling. Fredericks mother is again a good example, she had to return so early for work that she never had actual time to speak to her son because she would leave way before he woke up. She also left early so she wouldn’t receive an actual punishment in the form of a whipping. Once again, the work on the fields left slaves tired and unwilling to speak up against their tormenters and

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