Essay on the Life of Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Frederick Douglass, Slavery Pages: 4 (1699 words) Published: October 8, 1999
In Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Mr. Douglass gives many examples of cruelty towards slaves as he shows many reasons that could have been used to abolish slavery. Throughout the well-written narrative, Douglass uses examples from the severe whippings that took place constantly to a form of brainwashing by the slaveholders over the slaves describing the terrible conditions that the slaves were faced with in the south in the first half of the 1800’s. The purpose of this narrative was most likely to give others not affiliated with slaves an explicit view of what actually happened to the slaves physically, mentally, and emotionally to show the explicit importance of knowledge to the liberation of slaves. Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in 1818 in Tuchahoe, Maryland, entered slavery from birth. Unaware of his actual date of birth, like most all the other slaves at that time, Douglass was forced to face the dread of being a slave early in his life. The very fact that the slaveholders did not give their slaves an actual birth date was one of the first examples not of brainwashing but a form of brain molding that was customary for all slaveholders to take part of. Since the slaves did not know their birthday, they were more easily treated like cattle or other property of the plantation, which was the objective of the slaveholders. The slaveholders felt that the more ignorant and little minded that slaves were, then the more effective they would be in the fields. This example of depriving the slaves of their natural right as humans to know their date of birth was just the beginning of the many examples that Frederick Douglass used to show reasons for the abolishment of slavery. Douglass’ mother, slave Harriet Bailey, was immediately separated from him while he was still an infant. Frederick’s father was said to be a white man, but throughout the entire narrative, Douglass...
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