Douglass states how being a slave owner was harmful to the owner’s moral sense of health because it is unnatural for a human to own another human/ humans. He informs his audience of the horrendous behavior of a typical slave owner. He depicts his memories of how they slave owners and watchers used to whip, rape and vocally demean slaves. For example, Douglass gave the readers of the corruption of slavery was a slave owner named Sophia
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.
This meant that these bastard children were slaves despite their paternal heritage because their mother was a slave. The effect of this revelation was to shock and offend the morals of the conservative northern whites. Northern society scorned people in adulterous and interracial relationships. By portraying these Southerners as immoral and adulterous, Douglass wanted to cultivate in his audience a damaging opinion of southern slaveholders (Quarles ix). Continuing with the theme o... ... middle of paper ... ...streated and punished their slaves, and how they used religion as an excuse to legitimize their immoral actions.
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”( Douglass). This famous quote epitomizes the philosophies of Frederick Douglass, in which he wanted everyone to be treated with dignity; if everyone was not treated with equality, no one person or property would be safe harm. His experience as a house slave, field slave and ship builder gave him the knowledge to develop into a persuasive speaker and abolitionist. In his narrative, he makes key arguments to white abolitionist and Christians on why slavery should be abolished. The key arguments that Frederick Douglass tries to vindicate are that slavery denies slaves of their identity, slavery is also detrimental for the slave owner, and slavery is ungodly.
Through the depictions of Mrs. Auld, Mr. Covey and Mr. Hopkins, Douglass shows the negative effects slavery possess over the actions of slave owners. The brutal slaveholders not only ruin their own character, but also harms the slaves. The unhappy environment slaves are subjected to live under results in crushed spirits and dreams. Douglass uses his experiences to show that man attains happiness when he becomes his own master.
As abolitionists, it is our duty to do something about slavery. Although, as abolitionists, we have a history of disagreements among us, it time to put a stop to our arguments and start fighting for something we all believe in - to abolish slavery. While the growing cotton economy has made slavery more attractive than ever before to most southern people, slavery has to be abolished based on these reasons: first, because slaves are treated inhumanly; second, because it makes southern white society savage and cruel, and third, it turns southern whites into greedy and lazy people. One of the main reasons that slavery should be abolished is because masters treat their slaves inhumanly. Masters disregard the idea of family among slaves.
His autobiography focuses primarily on the ill effects slavery has on slaves; however, he also acknowledges the damage that enforcing the laws of slavery has on slave holders. Through the use of imagery, Douglass masterfully illustrates the dehuman... ... middle of paper ... ...oppression due to the lack of liberty, education, humanity, or justice. Works Cited Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. The Heath Anthology of American Literature.
He writes, “It was [this] mark of inferiority that affected all black men and women and did not disappear even when black people secured their freedom” (Unger 309). According to Unger, “it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write” (Unger 309). Owners saw it as unnecessary for them and did not want slaves to become more equal with the free people. A conversation between Eva and her mother in Stowe’s book reveals this view of slaves as inferior along with slaves not being taught t... ... middle of paper ... ...r the South being justified in seeing the book as “an attack on white Southerners or Southern society as the root cause of the evils of slavery,” it seems that they were not justified. Overall, Stowe was attacking the institution of slavery and not the South per se.
Douglass makes the dehumanizing effects of slavery on slaves obvious, appealing to feelings of sympathy in the North; however, he also appeals to the agitators of slavery — slaveowners in the South — by stressing how the corrupt and irresponsible power they enjoy are detrimental to their own moral health. By showing the immorality of slaveowners and their families as a result of perpetuating slavery, Douglass contends that slavery should be abolished for the greater good of the whole society.
Slavery, in short, is most obviously a terrible, ugly, and dehumanizing form of life. The African slaves in the slave trade had some of life’s worst experiences. The actions of the slave trade, from start to the journey’s end at a plantation somewhere in the Americas, served to demean and weaken the morale of slaves so that they would be subservient and easier to force around.