Fredrick Douglass throughout the novel is describing the horrific actions that maintain the institution of slavery. Separating a child from their mother means that one was never properly nurtured. He never knew his mother and did not build that loving bond that any human child needs to grow emotionally healthy.
Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of [my mother’s] death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger.
(Douglass 2) ...
... middle of paper ...
...family structure. The acquired slave system demanded that the slave masters impose physiological and psychological maintenance to control slaves. One way of upholding the social order was to strip slaves of their own right to know who they were and where they came from. Ultimately, preventing slaves from ever gaining a sense of self- fulfillment or the pursuit of happiness. Slavery as an institution broke all familial bonds, induced extreme suffering and emphasized inhumanness at the core. Slavery took an emotional toll on all involved and abolishing it benefited the entire American society.
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