A Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 3 (990 words) Published: March 30, 2014

A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
During the time before the novel was written, slavery went untold. Slavery was a cruel practice that consisted of forced, harsh, unpaid labor and cruel whippings. In the early 1820s, most slaves were in the south, while abolitionists were more common in the north because of the lack of need of slave labor. Slave owners were inhumane and unpleasant to their slaves and often whipped them for no reason whatsoever. Life was unfortunate and food was scarce as a slave, yet no provisions were taken to put a stop to this inhumane practice. During this time, slaves were viewed as property, and used to harvest crops no matter the weather, do other farm chores, and even tend to their owner’s needs in their houses. They held a significant role in the United States economy, by making it possible for large plantation owners to harvest large amounts of crops quickly and inexpensively. By doing so, these owners could then sell those materials to make excessive amounts of money. All of this was done without thanks of course. Most of these slaves were undernourished, beaten, and kept ignorant. Owners wanted their slaves weak so they could not escape and run away and often didn’t allow them to learn to read or write in order to keep them from gaining freedom. Throughout all of this, everyday slaves had to live scared of being separated from the few relatives they had. Many slaves were separated at birth and never knew their mothers. They were housed in small shelters with no beds and only a single blanket to keep them during the freezing winters. Food was scarce and many went hungry. Slavery nevertheless kept the economy rolling, although the cruelty was mostly ignored.

Throughout the book, multiple themes were portrayed by Frederick Douglass and his actions. One of the most important and significant themes is keeping strength throughout hardship. This was extremely evident through the scenes written, and it helped successfully...
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