1 March 2014
Frederick Douglass: Slavery
Throughout the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass there were many instances when slavery was indeed cruel and injustice to the humanity of the slaves during this time period. Frederick Douglass had seen and/or heard of the worst things happening to people around him, simply because of the color of their skin. Douglass had been born into slavery, which left him with not much of a choice to pursue his actual dreams. The story had proved how majority of the slaveholders felt towards the slaves, and their views on them. Slaveholders felt as though slaves were there for one reason only. Anything otherwise was unacceptable, and if slaves went against the slaveholders, they suffered in some of the worst ways. He claims as his intellectual birthright the opportunity to learn to read and write. He refuses to accept anything less than his own physical, spiritual, and intellectual freedom. Douglass expresses his views in vivid detail, so that the reader can get a clear image of how slaves were being treated. The purpose of this narrative was most likely to give others not affiliated with slaves an explicit view of what actually happened to the slaves physically, mentally, and emotionally to show the explicit importance of knowledge to the liberation of slaves.
The slaveholder, as well as the slave, was the victim of the slave system. The very fact that the slaveholders did not give their slaves an actual birth date was one of the first examples not of brainwashing but a form of brain molding that was customary for all slaveholders to take part of. Since the slaves did not know their birthday, they were more easily treated like cattle or other property of the plantation, which was the objective of the slaveholders. The slaveholders felt that the more ignorant and little minded that slaves were, then the more effective they would be in the fields. Under the whole heavens there could be no relation more unfavorable to the development of honorable character than that sustained by the slaveholder to the slave. In this story it seemed as though slaveholders didn’t have much patience for the slaves and punished them horribly when slaves did not perform correctly. This treatment was a part of the system, rather than a part of the man. To have encouraged appeals of this kind would have occasioned much loss of time, and leave the overseer powerless to enforce obedience. Nevertheless, when a slave had nerve enough to go straight to his master, with a well-founded complaint against an overseer, though he might be repelled and have even that of which he complained at the time repeated, and though he might be beaten by his master as well as by the overseer, for his temerity, in the end, the policy of complaining was generally vindicated by the relaxed rigor of the overseer's treatment. The latter became more careful and less