At the Beginning of Chapter 3 of Narrative of the Life of an American Slave (1945), Douglass Writes: ()by Paying Careful Attention to Douglass’s Language, Consider This Description as an Allegory or as Multi-Layered

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Human rights Pages: 2 (815 words) Published: May 11, 2013
E. At the beginning of Chapter 3 of Narrative of the life of an American Slave (1945), Douglass writes: ()By paying careful attention to Douglass’s language, consider this description as an allegory or as multi-layered story—what does it tell us about how power works in slavery; what is the fantasy of control that this garden suggests? In your essay, you might consider the symbolic meaning of the ‘’garden’’ and/or of the “tar”.

The short paragraph gave information about the master of Douglass Colonel Lloyd, describing an affair about the garden of Lloyd. Briefly, Lloyd owned a garden that planted many different kinds of fruits which were very attractive to his slaves. In order to prevent stealing of his fruits, he tarred his fence all around the garden, therefore, people who was found tarred would be whipped. After the adoption of this stratagem, the slaves became fearful and no longer dared to steal fruits from the garden. (Douglass, 1845, p.59) In this story, we could see that the masters controlled the slave totally relying on brutal punishment. When the tarring method was not adopted, the slaves kept stealing fruits, even if they knew that once they were caught, they would receive great pain. This was because they thought there was still chance that the master would not find out and then they could enjoyed those fruit. However, once they knew that hardly could they steal fruits from the garden without being caught, they stopped stealing. This showed that whipping really exerted great pressure and deterrence on slaves. Furthermore, the story also suggested the relationship between master and slaves. The garden was like the master, surrounded by fence, holding of power in which no slaves could cross the line. In the paragraph, there is this sentence, ‘’the garden was not the least source of trouble on the plantation.’’ (Douglass, 1845) This suggested that there were trouble between slaves and the master also in other aspects. It seemed that the power of the...
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