One of the dehumanizing aspects depicted in the slave narratives has to do with the breaking of the slaves’ character and motivation. According to Frederick Douglass one of his slave owners by the name of Mr. Covey made him work in any type of weather condition (Douglas, 37). It did not matter if it was hard rain, snow, or hail. The temperatures were not a factor when it came to whether or not slaves had to work. The citizens in the north could especially relate to tumultuous weather and empathize with how cruel that type of labor could have been. Douglas mentions that over time this type of discipline had broken him physically and spiritually (Douglass, 38). He even goes on to say he had pondered taking his own life due to the desperate situation he finds himself in. The human spirit and character was also broken through insults and constant fear of being beaten. Solomon Northup mentioned how his master, Tibeats, had awa...
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...e and treated as property. The true slave narratives describe vivid accounts of mistreatment, depleting spirits and loss of motivation. Working conditions were explained to be rigorous and full of extreme expectations. Slaves were demoralized by being prohibited from learning how to read or what day their birthday was. Women slaves often had to suffer through the sexual abuse inflicted by their masters on a daily basis. False ideas of freedom were depicted for slaves through the use of excessive drinking. Slaves that were removed from their families and this caused serious emotional turmoil. They lost many years of needed bonding and the connections that human beings deserve. Resources like food and bedding were always inadequate to meet the slaves’ needs. These examples of dehumanization are all reasons why Americans decided to join the abolition movement.
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