Essay on Slave Oppression

3352 Words 14 Pages
Slave Oppression
During the 19th century, slavery was an extremely dehumanizing period. The complete control over another human being’s life brought many hardships and disappointments. Families were separated and, for African-Americans, the slave era was extremely depressing. Slaves were often beaten, or killed for the simple incompletion of a task. Women had no rights and were used for cooking, for cleaning, and for the creation and nurturing of babies. There were often instances of lynching and burnings of African-Americans simply because of their skin color. Slavery is uniquely American because it plays a major role of the formation of The United States today. During this time period, slave masters had the complete control over a
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This demonstrates one of many examples of the Invisible Man’s struggle in an oppressing society
Another example of the racism during this time period is the use of African-Americans. During the 1940s, it was common to have African-American chauffeuring rich white families. The blacks were required to greet them with “yes ma’am” or “yes sir” while the blacks were often called “boy”. In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man we see the narrator chauffeuring the co-founder of the college. His job was to chauffeur Mr. Norton around until Mr. Norton’s next meeting. One may argue that a chauffeur is simply its name—a person who drives people from one destination to the next; however, Mr. Norton demonstrates racism as he is being chauffeured. He told the Invisible Man, “…your people were somehow closely connected with my destiny” (Ellison 41). The statement, “…your people…” (Ellison 41) is a racist people because the people of the world are one people, regardless of race or the color of one’s skin.
These racist remarks are what cause African-Americans to struggle in an oppressive society because they feel a lack of confidence to perform tasks. This is proves when the narrator stated, “[he] was more afraid to act any other way because they didn’t like that at all” (Ellison 17). Mr. Norton demonstrates more racism by stating, “…you are my fate, young man” (Ellison 42). Mr. Norton meant that the Invisible Man’s success will be a reflection of Mr.

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