Frederick Douglass Dehumanization

Words: 1156
Pages: 5

When it comes to American Slavery, the dehumanization and brutality experienced by slaves is commonly discussed, however the humanity of the people dolling out this cruelty is often left out. In Frederick Douglas's memoir, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass delves deeply into what it means to be a slaveholder, and the various personalities he encountered along his painstaking journey as a slave. It is easy to observe the common character traits of his slaveholders, and Douglass is able to completely reveal the true process of transforming man into slave. This transformation was just as psychological as it was physical, and Douglass proves that the only away to escape ones chains is through mental expansion and self education. What slaveholders tried to do to keep their slaves in a submissive state was constant restriction of their will to learn, in order to prevent expansion of their horizons beyond the physical and mental chains to which they were bound. This restriction often manifested itself in violent and merciless behavior. In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, it is evident that slave owners lose their own humanity through taking away the humanity of others. Backed by a sense of fear that their slaves will be essentially lost by letting them learn, slave owners and all who …show more content…
It is obvious that a main goal of slavery was to completely take away the humanity of the slave, but in his narrative, Douglass shows how the same can happen on the other side. In doing this, Douglass proves that slavery as an entity has an grave impact on everyone, no matter what their involvement with it may be. Its horrifying realities can be felt from all perspectives, and it will always change someone for the