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An american slave by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: An American slave by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Introduction The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass can be referred to as a memoir and writing about the abolitionist movement of the life of a former slave, Fredrick Douglass…
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An american slave by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
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"An american slave by Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"

Download file to see previous pages In this book, Douglass narrated the life of a slave in the United States into finer details. This paper will give a description of life a slave in the United States was living, as narrated through the experiences of Fredrick Douglass. Life of a slave in the United States The narrative begins by informing the readers that slaves were kept in the dark about crucial issues in their lives such as their dates of births. The slaves, particularly those born in slavery, were not allowed to know such important aspects of their lives as birthdays. For instance, Douglass was not sure of his exact birth date. They were even kept in the dark on the identity of their parents, “I do not recollect ever seeing my mother by the light of day” (Douglass, 10). This implies that the slaves were separated from their biological parents at a tender age, and subjected to harsh living conditions. One of the slaves, Fredrick Douglass, was separated from his mother, Harriet Bailey, when he was seven years old. The slaves are not emotionally affected by the separation since they are separated from their parents at a tender age and they become used to living without their parents. Slaves are subjected to harsh conditions of slavery, despite their parents or even relatives being the slaveholders. Slaves start to witness brutal acts of slavery at a very young age. The slave masters did not care whether their children or relatives were undergoing the harsh conditions of slavery. It is believed that Douglass’ father owned the slaves, “the opinion was whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness of this opinion I know nothing.... My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant” (p 10). Slave masters use totalitarianism as a means of monitoring their subjects. The slaves are required to behave in a particular manner when they are interacting with their masters. Slaves themselves encounter cruel interaction among their peers and slave holders. Slave masters administer fears among the slaves, since this is what keeps them going. When they speak the truth, they are penalized by their owners. Ignorance is a slavery tool that is widely used by slaveholders to administer acts of slavery. Initially, many individuals were made to believe that slavery was a natural occurrence. People believed that blacks did not have the capability of actively participating in their civil rights, and therefore should be owned by white community. In this narrative, the whites are depicted as individuals who access power and keep blacks from the time they are born till they die. Slaves are ignorant of important aspects in their lives, not because they like it, but are forced to be in this status. The ignorance that is enforced ensures that the slave children are deprived of the individual identity sense. However, as the children tend to grow older, they secretly learn how to read and write as a means of acquiring literacy, resulting into their self sufficiency sense. According to the slaveholders, literacy would make the slaves be on the know-how of their rights and in turn question the whites on why they are keeping them. Ignorance is also used by slaveholders as a means of maintaining active control over what the rest of the world knows about acts of slavery. In this regard, if the slaves are not able to write, their brutal experience would not be exposed to the outside world. When slave masters discovered that the slaves were secretly learning how ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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