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A Slave Narrative: Arthur - Essay Example

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Summary
We cannot begin to understand the true plight of the slave. It is not possible to truly understand the feelings and emotions that must have go through the mind of a person who tirelessly works day after day, being told they are not a person, but rather are the property of another individual…
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A Slave Narrative: Arthur
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A Slave Narrative: Arthur

Download file to see previous pages... Slave Master’s and Their Control Over the Institution of Slavery
Arthur was born into slavery. Unlike many slaves during his time, he was allowed to learn to read and write and “was treated very kindly by [his] master” (Wright, 2001, p. 1). It was through this kindness that the master maintained control over his slaves. According to the narrative, however, the mistress was another story. Arthur was terrorized by her and, by the age of 14, could not endure it anymore. It was at that point that he ran away from the plantation on which he lived.
This demonstrates that masters and their mistresses usually worked in harmony to maintain control over the institution of slavery. One way they did this was to separate the children from their parents. In so doing, the parents were bound to remain on the plantation because, if they left, they would never see their offspring again. The children, such as Arthur, were then left to endure the emotional and physical hardship of begin essentially raised by a mistress whose sole purpose was to keep the children in line so that their parents would continue working hard as a slave. In the end, Arthur realized he was about to be sold himself to another plantation, so he ran away. He was one of the few that survived that endeavor.
Punishments were frequent. One such way to gain control over a slave was to give them lashings. For various offenses, that was the punishment of choice as it dehumanized the slave and made the submissive to the master. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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