The Morality Of Slaves Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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Some people believe that slavery was morally acceptable because slaves had the necessities of an average lifestyle: clothes to wear, food to eat, and a place to live. Due to the research taught in history lessons and Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, however, this belief can be strongly opposed. It is taught that slaves, especially those from the south, had a terrible life. Regardless of the fact that they were given some of life’s basic essentials, the argument remains that slaves were treated unfairly, considering their necessities were always given to them in the bare minimum or in the worst possible condition. Therefore, it is appropriate to argue—especially with historic proof from research and Douglass’ …show more content…
In history, students are taught that, from the beginning, slaves were being mistreated before they even began working in America. They were carried from Africa to America on a ship traveling the Middle Passage. On this voyage, the naked slaves were cramped with thousands of others on the ship to the point where there was not enough food, water, sleeping space, or even air to breathe. For this reason, many slaves died before arrival. Those who did make it to America were starved, dehydrated, and weak, yet were forced to almost immediately begin working. In their enslavement houses or plantations, slaves continued to be deprived of food, water, rest, proper clothing and sleeping arrangements, and were extremely over-worked. This excessive working and destitution of the slaves is also closely related to that of the Holocaust. Despite the actuality of the fact that both slaves and members of the Holocaust were given food and a place to sleep, they both experienced countless amounts of brutalities. Based on historic research, the so-called “kindly, paternal masters” would beat, rape, and kill the slaves out of pure enjoyment. In many of these cases, the slaves would be innocent, yet the owner would still find something to become angry over. Clearly, the idea that slaves had it “okay” cannot be supported by the factual reality of the misery slaves …show more content…
Nothing is either just one thing or the other, for it is always a combination of the two. Hence, not every single slave owner was as cruel as research will conclude them to be, nor was every single one of them as cruel as Douglass would describe. Douglass refers to one of his previous masters, Master Daniel, “who became quite attached to [him]” (71). In spite of this, Douglass was rarely whipped or beaten, and would even receive cake from the boy. However, he was still deprived of appropriate clothing and comfortable sleeping arrangements for harsh weather. Another seemingly nice master was Sophia Auld, for she was teaching him to read. However, he learned that slavery corrupted her as a slave owner, since the previously kind-hearted owner “had but a short time to remain such” (77). She had become used to the power, began to rely on the slavery of Douglass, and expected complete obedience from him—doing whatever was necessary to ensure it. As Douglass realized, and as those who believe slavery fulfilled the needs of those who were enslaved should learn, slavery was, in the end, barbaric. The exceptional “kindly, paternal masters” cannot make up for the innumerable amount of other harsh ones, for a person would not be

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