The book’s thesis is that the overseers and slave masters had a difficult time of managing slaves on the plantations. According to Franklin, slaves were very resistant to slavery and bondage, and some slaves would not stop trying to runaway despite the consequences. Franklin states, “The tensions, conflicts, and often violent confrontations between master and servant, or overseer and slave, have received less attention.”(2) White southerners refused to admit that slaves could n... ... middle of paper ... ... would not recommend this book to others. I would recommend Runaway Slaves to others because it literally has every reason or cause that a slave would run away; some you would never even expect or think of. The book broadens your view of slavery and shows you every opportunity a slave had to escape to the promise land; they would take it.
All of this meant that day-to-day life itself “banked on” the black slave body. Much of the identities of white slave owners were developed through their relationships with slaves and how they interacted with other slave owners. Some even convinced themselves that buying slaves was justified because they were “rescuing” them from the terrors of the market. In many ways, white men entered into full Southern society membership through the buying of slaves that could car... ... middle of paper ... ...ir labor, but rather a society that no longer knew another way of life. The balance of power was beginning to shift as the antebellum South’s dependence on free labor economically tied their existence to the heinous practice of owning slaves.
Since adopted slave owners were married into slave owning and weren’t raised among slavery, Douglass believed that they didn’t know how to tr... ... middle of paper ... ... master practiced. He came to the conclusion that being religious didn’t show their goodness as people but instead brought out their brutality. The Life of Fredrick Douglass shows how slavery could of not only affected the slaves but the owners as well. Thomas Auld was overall a cowardly owner and quite tough compared to other slaveholders. Douglass believed that since Auld obtained slave owning from marriage, it made him more of an unpleasant master because he wasn’t used to being around slavery and having so much power.
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.
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
The cruelty shown to individual slaves in individual moments contributes greatly to the fear with which slaves view their masters. That same fear, though, also contributes to the absolute deference most slaves had towards their masters. Douglass describes the so-called “honor” associated with being a slave that is chosen to go to the Great House Farm. Being selected means that a slave is out of the fields, and away from the punishing abuse of his overseer. Douglass compares the slave’s desire for recognition to that of a white man in politics, writing, “[t]he competitors for this office sought as diligently to please their overseers, as the office-seekers in the political parties seek to please and deceive the people.” That is to say that just as lower classes of white men will do whatever it takes to climb the ranks to a better status, a slave will gladly exchange pride for the safety that comes with an overseer’s
Unfortunately, not everyone saw the situation as it was in reality at that time. As we can see from many different sources available today, the points of view of slaves and slave owners on slavery were the opposite to each other. That can be seen in various slaves’ and slave owners’ descriptions of slavery. Slaves described their dwellings, food, clothes, labor, and the terrible treatment of slaves by their masters. On the other hand, slave owners described the relationships between slaves and their masters in a very positive way.
Pennington explained how it angered him when people used the excuse of “kind masters” or “well fed and well-clothed slaves” as a form of justification for slavery. This relates to paternalism, the notion that masters took responsibility for their “dependents” (women, children, and, slaves). Owners claimed that they considered slaves “part of the family” and provided them with religious instruction, food, housing, medical care, care in old age, etc.. However, this notion of “paternalism” can be misleading, as even the “mildest form of slavery” still included separation of families, starvation, physical punishment or whipping if their slaves defied them, nakedness, etc. According to Pennington, even “good” owners were not masters of the slave system; the slave system was a master of them (p.374).
Slavery: A Lifelong Escape To say that slavery only affects slaves is inaccurate; it dehumanizes the slaveholders too. Some of the slaveholders in the book were sympathetic, innocent human beings. They were not automatically corrupt just because they owned a slave. Rather, slavery changed their actions and characters from mercy into viciousness. In Douglass’ own book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he emphasizes how many dignified human beings turn into barbaric slaveholders.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by Frederick Douglass and edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. described how slaves in the U.S were treated before the American Civil War. The cruelties that these slaves faced every day were beyond what all of us would expected. They were abused with force and starvation by their masters and overseers, additionally they were also being suppressed by their owners, intellectually and economically. Many of us think of slavery as an act of confinement and denying a person of his/her freedom. However, American slavery is way worst than that.