The Effects Of Slavery In The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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Slavery was an institution that affected not only the black population but, the white population in the United States as well. Slavery often taught blacks the importance of hard work and education. It was well known by slaves that education would allow them to be freed of the mental slavery that plagued that. Though it did not mean that they had physical freedom, knowledge was a small form of rebellion for some. On the other hand, slavery made white people hungry for power. Slavery turned those that were not typically considered cruel were turned into stonehearted masters. The effects of institution also differed based on the gender of the individual. The way black males experienced slavery was vastly different from the encounters that black…show more content…
All three of his accounts are very violent. In his narrative the female slave becomes a symbol of suffering. As a young child his mother was sold to a different master. His father was a white slave owner. Everything that happened to his mother was out of her control. Douglass’s birth was a result of rape and her death was a result of the suffering that she went through. This example of a life long misfortune was followed by the account of the brutal beating that his Aunt endured. Douglass describes the inhumane actions of his master and how he only stopped the whipping when he got tired ignoring his screams, “the louder she screamed, the harder he whipped (Douglass 354).” Douglass witnessed these horrible sights at a very age. This shaped this perception of the black female in a negative light. From a child he was thought that a female slave knows nothing in her life but suffering. Another horrifying account that Douglass gives in his narrative is the story of Mary and Henrietta. It seems that each story is more gruesome that the last. Douglass writes about the horrible situation in great detail explaining how “of all the mangled and emaciated creatures [he] ever looked, these two were the most so (371).” This example showed how dehumanized female slaves were. They were though as commodities not humans. This situation also shows how harmful slavery was for white women as well because it was the master’s wife whipping these two
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