The Dehumanization Of The Dehumanizers Essay

1081 Words Oct 15th, 2014 5 Pages
The Dehumanization of the Dehumanizers

People are affected by their surroundings, and learn right from wrong based on the actions of others or what is accepted in society. When they commit a wrong, people find ways to justify or hide from their actions. This type of behavior was particularly evident during the time of the Civil War. Southern whites and slaves were greatly affected by the institution of slavery. It is clear that slaves were abused, but southern whites were influenced to an extent where the impact on their character could not be fixed. In the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, the author uses striking details and repetition to explain to the reader in detail the dehumanizing results of slave holding on the southern whites and the concept that power corrupts one’s thoughts and actions. The effects are shown through the transformation of Sophia Auld and the religious hypocrisy of many slave masters.
Douglass shows that southern white slave owners are dehumanized and turn into evil, greedy monster like people. Sophia Auld was new to the idea of slavery because she has never been another person’s master. When Douglass first meets Mrs. Auld, he points out, “She very kindly commenced to teach me the A,B,C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters”(6:3). Sophia Auld has not been exposed to the effects of slavery and doesn’t understand the difference between the way she is treating her slaves compared…

Related Documents