AP Lang- 5
1 October 2013
Frederick Douglass Rewrite
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, became one of the most influential orators of his time and spearheaded the abolitionist movement in the United States. His masterful literary skills and eloquence led to his autobiographical work, The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave to become a bestseller in 1845.Douglass’s accounts of cruelty, aberrancy, and immorality throughout his novel successfully portrayed his argument that slavery is a depraved practice.
Due to the rapidly expanding cotton industry, as many as four million men, women, and children were enslaved in the United States by 1860. Although slavery was abolished in 1865, modern slavery remains to this day and according to a report from the State Department, more than 27 million people remain enslaved today. Therefore, the issue of slavery is no trivial fact of the past and still remains relevant.
The institution of slavery is cruel, aberrant, and immoral as demonstrated by Douglass’s accounts of cruelty. In the novel, Douglass mentions that often a white man must sell his illegitimate slave children “out of deference for his white wife” (23) to “human flesh-mongers” (23) as “it is the dictate of humanity for him to do so” (23). If a white man does not sell his slave children, he is forced to whip his child or his white sons are forced to whip their half siblings. This case demonstrates how the institution of slavery is cruel to both parties involved. The cruelty of slavery carries over to the twenty-first century as well. In the devastated country of Haiti, the “restavec system” developed during the turmoil following the 2010 natural disaster. Tens of thousands of children became orphans and often many of them become restaves, domestic servants that are forced to work day and night. Often restave children are promised housing and an education however, with no one to defend the...
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