Slave Narrative

Amazing Essays
High school history books graze over slavery, just touching on the general details, but slave narratives delve into a more personal side of slave history that will truly make an impact on students. Slave narratives supply an incite into slave history that a textbook can’t provide. Many are written by current or former slaves, so they present a first hand experience of slavery that is valuable to education. The first hand accounts that slave narratives provide, give personal accounts of what life was like as a slave. Readers of slave narrative gain a more extensive knowledge of slavery than textbooks provide. There is more information given about the lifestyle of a slave, there is an incite into the different “types” of masters slave could have …show more content…
Frederick Douglass describes his different masters and experiences as a slave. He goes through unfairly harsh masters and harsh but fair masters. Frederick Douglass talks about all these different environments that slaves could have lived in, while still being able to give a personal point of view because he personally experienced them. He’d had masters that would allow their slaves to to whipped for “half an hour at the time; and this too in the midst of...crying children, pleading for their mother’s release” (Douglass, 55). He’d also had kind a kind slave owner, who would teach him how to read and he was allowed to run errands around town, giving him a sort of momentary freedom. His variety of masters through his life gives the reader of his book a good idea of the different lives slaves could have lived. Textbooks stick to the conventional knowledge of all slaveholders being malignant, but Frederick Douglass shows us that there were masters with no sympathy for their slaves and masters who are significantly more sympathetic. While life as a slave was horrible regardless, Frederick Douglass shows us that when slaves were stuck in that lifestyle, the master they had made a significant difference in the livability of the …show more content…
In the book, a group of runaways are captured by the negro hunters, and the master chose to kill on because he “will never be suitable” (Morrison 266). They burned the runaway alive while the other slave watched. Escaping was not easy for slaves, but neither was life as a runaway. In Beloved once the slaves escaped, their old master found them and came to claim what was his, which included the children of the slave. In order to protect her children from the life she had to live, the slave murdered her kids, or at least attempted to. While this story is not a first hand account and the events that took place in the book may not have happened to a specific person, they still accurately reflected the hardships of being a runaway

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Douglass is also credible because through obtaining literacy, he was able to free himself from an inferior mindset. Years after leaving the Aulds in Baltimore, Douglass was sent to live and work for Mr.Covey in order to break Douglass 's spirit and make him a "manageable" slave. Douglass and Covey got into a fight, to Douglass 's avail. Douglass narrates, "I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day…

    • 1049 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As a child he was sent off to another home to work as a house slave. As a house slave, his master’s wife began the process of teaching him how to read. Even though his master attempted to stop him from learning, he continued to educate himself and learn more. This act, though, is what started his journey to one day holding the highest form of office an African American could hold at the time and being the voice of African Americans in the…

    • 902 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 920 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The novel shows that Slaves could be treated well, even though they were being owned and worked by the masters. In the textbooks, at least in the north, the slave owners are always portrayed as nasty vile humans who beat and kill their slaves. In this novel we see three different kinds of owners. We see Ford, who is a normal, rather nice master who keeps Solomon and treats him well. After Ford there is Tibeats, who is often found trying to kill Solomon and beating him and even selling him off in frustration.…

    • 2574 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It gives the reader a different perspective about the way slaves were treated. For the most part people learned about how most slaves were mistreated by their masters. But, Mr. and Mrs. Shelby did not do that. It was a hard decision for them and they had a bond with their slaves. The author made sure that the reader would see that in the book.…

    • 1043 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    According to “Learning to Read,” Frederick Douglass grew up in a time when slaves were not educated in fear that they would revolt on their slaveowners. Once Douglass secretly learned to read and write, he was able to read books like The Columbian Orator. A dialogue between a slave and his master discussing their argument of slavery ended up in the slave’s emancipation. Being informed on pro- and antislavery issues, abolition, and free African Americans in the north, drove Douglass crazy. “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing.…

    • 1176 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He spent a lot of time explaining how the North felt, and that contradiction to the South is well exhibited. More explanation about the South and its feelings would have been helpful towards the thesis. Through his writing, he was able to persuade and show how the South tried to convince the people that slaves weren’t treated badly and that all Southerners are kind and caring and nothing like the slave narratives depict…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This meant that slaves were going against their masters’ word, Douglass says “learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (Douglass, 35), and slaves found themselves in brutal situations. As a result, slaves who didn’t follow the movement were safe, afraid, and made the process slower but those who did had an advantage in the community. After all, Douglass like a great deal of slaves found methods to deceive their masters by learning, and Douglass says “I wished to learn how to write, as I might have occasion to write my own pass” (Douglass, 37). Education made those ideas to slaves for freedom so it becomes evident how valuable education is. By learning their capability of being brilliant allows them to be equal instead of ignorant and clueless as their masters…

    • 1892 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The book goes on to tell how his masters were and what treatment he had to endure during his time as a slave. He talked about watching his aunt getting whipped; seeing his aunt covered in blood as she screamed. Growing up in the 21st century it is hard to believe that black people lived like this. No one should have to go through the things that Fredrick Douglass went through. Not…

    • 781 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He is immensely grateful for the boys that helped him learn to read since it was unforgiveable to teach a slave anything in a Christian country. He used to tell the young boys, that he was friends with that he wished he would be free as they would be when they were grown men. His friends told him he would be free someday but Fredrick knew that he would be a slave for life. Thanks to the great friends Fredrick had, he got the opportunity to read a book that taught him many new and fascinating facts. Some of the things that he learned while reading were devastating and heart breaking.…

    • 1827 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays