First, the privileges that house slaves received compared to field slaves are due to the complicated familial dynamics that exist on a plantation. “Many house negroes were, in fact, the psychologically dominated, mixed-race offspring of the master class by slave concubines” (Hall 657). With this in mind, masters often protected their “family” by allowing them to do less strenuous jobs around the house. Frederic Douglass, for example, in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, is fair-skinned and assumed to be the child of his original master (17). Douglass was allowed to work in the house and was eve...
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...lorism posited a particular group into circumstances that subjected them to more psychological controls, which ultimately influenced their mental decisions. With a racial divide and often an identity crisis, slaves clung to their masters for protection because they did not want to experience the same maltreatment as the lesser group in the plantation hierarchy. In the context of slavery, Linda Brent continued to subject herself to her master’s sexual demands in order to escape physical abuse. In the same sense of fear, characters such as Maude made immoral decisions to protect her and her children’s’ “legacy.” In either circumstance, the physical characteristics of being light-skinned and privilege to be a house-slave or an aristocrat in society contributed to the choice to seek protection through submission to physiological control in the master-slave relationship.
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