Frederick Douglass Passage Analysis

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This passage reflects the book as a whole because it shows the brutality of slavery. This reflects the book because in every chapter Douglass writes about the various strategies that slave owners used to keep the slaves in line, whether that be psychological or physical torture. Throughout the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass reminds the reader repeatedly how terrible slavery is and the decisions it forces humans to make. The scene that Douglass depicts also reflects that slave owners like to make examples out of slaves. By whipping Frederick’s Aunt, the slave master instills fear in the other slaves and that fear prevents them from stepping out of line. The style of writing in the passage reflects the book because Douglass …show more content…
This passage addresses this theme by first offering a vivid depiction of the beating and then explaining how it made Douglass feel and the long-term effect that it had on Frederick Douglass. Douglass writes that that watching the slave master beat his aunt struck him with an awful force and that he was not able to write down the full extent of what happened. Some might argue that Douglass’ situation might be unique and that all slavery was not as violent as what Douglass witnessed. Or someone could argue that Douglass exaggerated his description of slavery to engage the reader of his book more. Another point could be that slave owners did not beat their slaves to instill fear but just to punish one slave. However, I still stand by the initial point that slave masters beat their slaves to instill fear in other slaves. Machiavelli said in The Prince “It is better to be feared than loved,” and the slave masters treated their slaves as such. Once the slaves learned to fear the master and the whip the slave driver would have complete control over them. Douglass reiterates this point in chapter ten with his description of Mr. Covey’s effect on his slaves “His work went on in his absence almost as well as in his presence; and he had the faculty of making us feel that he was ever present with us.” This quote shows again that slave masters developed a way to …show more content…
Slave ownership can turn a kind person into an evil and self-consumed person because absolute power corrupts people. When a kind person buys a slave, they treat them nice in the beginning, but over time they begin to abuse the slave either because they develop a craving for absolute power or people around them convince them that a slave will revolt if not treated in a strict manner. Fredrick Douglass tells his readers that Mrs. Auld treated him kindly, and even began to teach him to read, which would later prove to be a mistake, but after her husband warned her of the dangers of a literate slave she became cold-hearted. This is an example of someone that was convinced by others to treat slaves like property, not as a human. Mr. Auld turned out to be right when he warned Mrs. Auld of the danger of a literate slave because Douglass then began to pursue literacy with a passion, which eventually leads to Douglass deciding to flee to the North. Owning a slave is like an addiction, at first it starts out as something innocent something that helps you out in your day to day life, but over time you grow used to it and then you start to demand more of your slave becoming more violent towards the slave to get what you

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