The Slave Auction, And Harper's The Hypocrisy Of American Slavery

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A very dark time in our history that prompted profound and emotional literary responses from the people of that time was the time in which slavery was legal. The unjust treatment of these human beings is vividly described through various works of literature, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper writes in her poem “The Slave Auction” that, “young girls were there, defenseless in their wretchedness, whose stifled sobs of deep despair revealed their anguish and distress” (Harper). Not only were slaves subjected to extremely harsh working conditions, they also had to carry a deep emotional burden of the things that they have had to witness and experience. Children of slaves were separated from their parents, and slaves were beaten if they did not obey …show more content…
So many people had gone numb to emotion and ignored the voice in their head that was telling them that these human beings deserved better treatment than what they were receiving. Frederick Douglass, a former slave and famous abolitionist, describes the horrors of slavery in his speech, “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery” and argues that, “it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters” (Douglass). He reminds the audience that America was built on the idea of equality, and that Americans were being hypocritical by denying African Americans freedom when they are living in the “land of the free”. Thankfully, brave Americans in 1861 stood up to the injustices that were occurring in their beloved country, and they began fighting in a war that would later be known as the bloodiest war in American history-- the Civil …show more content…
Hundreds of thousands of Americans died in what is now known as the bloodiest war in American History. Witnessing the harsh, violent death during the war was indescribably traumatizing, and many men from both sides wrote their accounts of what was happening down in journals and such. The Red Badge of Courage, a book written by Stephen Crane about this horrific war, tells the story of a young boy named Henry who enlisted as a Union soldier in hopes of gaining honor and proving to himself that he is courageous. Henry realises that fighting in the war is much worse than he thought, and, “as he trudged from the place of blood and wrath his soul changed” (Crane). He saw first-hand the cruelty of war, and Henry was not the same boy when he was finally able to return home. Dear America: When Will This Cruel War Be Over? The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, written by Barry Denenberg, is another historical fiction book that shows the opposite perspective from the lens of a young girl living in South Carolina during the Civil War. Emma’s father expresses views that were common during that time for those in favor of the Confederacy in a letter to her, in which he wrote, “please take refuge in knowing, as I do, that our proud Confederacy is watched over by a kind providence and that there will come a time when we will surely return to the life we knew and

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