The Dehumanization Of Slavery In The Narrative Life Of Fredrick Douglas

1398 Words 6 Pages
Human morals along with compassion and sympathy are typically lost in the blur of slavery. Slave holders dehumanized, devalued, and objectified slaves in order to justify their ownership. As long as they considered a salve an animal their guilt could subside and they could excuse their cruel and heinous actions. Fredrick Douglas shares several horrific examples throughout his book, The Narrative Life of Fredrick Douglas, portraying the dehumanization slavery brought to slaves and slaveholders. Douglas uses powerful imagery throughout the book to arose his readers. His voice acknowledge the unjust life of abuse and neglect of slaves and the dehumanize factors slave holders possess. It is fairly easy and obvious to recognize how slaves were …show more content…
The South maintained a strong religious passion of Christian, they constantly overlooked several sins perpetrated by slave holders. Slave owners constantly used women slaves as breeders. On page 70, Douglas describes how Mr. Covey bought a women slave, Caroline, for the purpose of breading. Mr. Covey also hired a man to impregnate her in order for him to become a wealthier man. Women like Caroline were constantly raped, beaten, and tortured. The result of the rape demonized the women and profited the slave holder. Some of the rapist committed the sin of adultery in this process, but was overlooked as a sin upon the Christian society. For example, at the beginning of the book, Douglas mentions that his master was most likely his father (16). Although the men typically abuse women with rape, the wives of the rapist were just as cruel. Mistresses of slaveholders saw evidence of their husband’s infidelity when the slave gave birth to a half white child; yet, they too overlooked the infidelity and gave no sympathy or compassion to the slave. “[The mistress] is ever disposed to find fault with them; they can seldom do any thing to please her; she is never better pleased than when she sees them under lash, especially when she suspects her husband of showing to his mulatto children favors which he withholds from his black slaves” (17). Most wives were digested of the existence of mixed-race children. They were typically treated severely worst or sold off. The system of the society did’t recognize slaves “feelings”. They were trained to observe and treat them as animals and to provide no comfort or pity to any of them, not even their own

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