Life of Frederick Douglas Essay

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Life of Frederick Douglass: Motivation for Liberation
One of the most well known activists of the civil rights movement whom altered our nation’s views on slavery was the eminent Frederick Douglass. With his writing of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, it depicts the inhumane lifestyle that he was born into; slavery. With the many slaveholders Douglass has been acquainted to, he experienced what it was like to be a slave and how laborious it was to live in the critical conditions he was dealt. One slaveholder in particular was Master Thomas Auld. Although Thomas Auld was just one of the many slaveholders that provoked Douglass to seek freedom, it was the push he needed that made him realize it was time to change his life. According to Frederick Douglass, Master Thomas Auld was an inconsistent slave holder, causing the slaves to be unaware of what stunt Auld might pull next. He realized that living with his new master would be much tougher than the last, because of the conditions the Auld family lived with. He becomes conscious of the fact that his previous slave owner, Colonel Lloyd, gave him some sort of satisfaction; a sufficient means of survival. Auld on the other hand begged and stole food for his own survival which lead the slaves to perish due to the lack of food they were fed. Douglass states that, “Not to give a slave enough to eat, is regarded as the most aggravated development of meaness even among slaveholders.” Not only was Thomas Auld poor, he was a master whom was “cruel, yet cowardly”. According to Douglass, his leading trait was meanness. In Douglass’ eyes, Auld was a very flawed as he was cruel one moment but foolish in his actions the next.
Douglass states that “adopted slaveholders are the worst”. Due to the fact that Auld came into possession of all his slaves by marriage, he was inexperienced on how to treat slaves. Due to his inconsistency, “the luxury of having slaves of his own to wait upon was something new and unprepared for.” Auld seemed to be incompetent and found himself incapable of managing his slaves either by force, fear, or fraud. When enforcing rules amongst the slaves, he was at times rigid, and at times lax. At times, he spoke to his slaves with the firmness of Napoleon and the fury of a demon; at other times, he might well be mistaken for an inquirer who had lost his way. Overall, he was unable to conceal his meanness, giving the slaves a harsher condition to work with. On August 1832, Master Auld attended a Methodist camp-meeting in which he experienced religion. Douglass hoped that Auld’s conversion would lead him to emancipate his slaves or make him a more humane slave owner. Unfortunately, this camp did not do either. As a result of the camp, it made Master Thomas Auld more cruel and hateful towards his slaves, causing Douglass to believe he became