Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Property Pages: 3 (1035 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas is a story of how a slave lived through the inhumane treatment of slave owners during slavery but overcame all obstacles to produce a book of how slavery was and is inhumane. Slavery can be defined as a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another as a servant. Slave owners were the supreme power during that time; where masters often whip slaves when the slaves least deserve it, for no reason, or neglect to whip them when they most deserve it to keep them in fear, all because they can. Many times slaves are often treated as only property or a part of the slave owner’s livestock, not humans. Slaves were prohibited from being educated because it would give them hope and may lead to a revolt toward slave owners. Slave owners used that to their advantage so they could manipulate slaves to work hard and say nothing about it. When slaves are transferred among plantations the slaves may be taken away from their families careless if they are someone’s child, parent, or sibling. They are prevented from any sort knowledge of almost everything which would include their age, their family, and reason why they are enslaved. That gives the slave holder the upper hand to have control over the blacks. Douglas gives a first-hand experience of many of the hardships slaves had to tolerate just to live. Frederick Douglas put forward his stories of how slavery was ruthless and unbearable, mentally and physically during and after the time he was a slave.

In chapter VIII of the narrative it begins to explains how slaves are continued to be treated as property rather than humans and the emphasis on how slaves are to obey their masters. For example, “A single word from the white men was enough-against all our wishes, prayers, and entreaties-to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings." (Chapter 8, Pg. 90) Douglas declares his...
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