Jake Newbart and Shawn Lavi
The “Brutalizing Effects of Slavery upon Both Slave and Slaveholder”
“The warm, red blood came dripping to the floor. I was so terrified and horror stricken at the sight, that I hid myself in a closet and dared not venture out till long after the bloody transaction was over”(1942, Douglass). In this passage, a little slave boy experiences the degradation that is slavery, throughout his life this memory haunts him, and while not being haunted, the man who committed this atrocity has become corrupted by the influences of slavery. Through their narratives Douglass and Morrison convey their feelings about the institution of slavery and its degrading influences on people. The whipping of Aunt Hester and the murder of Beloved, both negatively influenced the blacks and whites that were involved. Douglass and Morrison’s characters use their painful memories to present an argument against the institution of slavery because it degrades and tarnishes blacks while consequently corrupting whites.
While in servitude slaves became a degraded and mistreated people, while their captors became tainted and abusive. During his captivity, one of Douglass’s fellow slaves, Demby, was whipped by his barbaric overseer. Demby, ran to the creek to soothe his pain, “and stood his ground” when told to return, even under the pain of death from said overseer. “Mr. Gore then, without consultation or deliberation with anyone, not even giving Demby an additional call, raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim, and in an instant poor Demby was no more”. Mr. Gore was known for committing “the grossest and most savage deeds upon the slaves under his charge” (1948). Demby fearing even more pain from Mr. Gore’s whip, refused to come out of the creek, and chose death instead of the demeaning life of a slave. Mr. Gore committed the heinous acts as an overseer such as the murder of Demby...
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