Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: The Evils of Slavery

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave: A Perspective on the Evils of Slavery

The institution of slavery defies the very nature of humanity, truth, and intellect from both the slave and the slave owner. Throughout the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; the terrible relationship between ignorance and suppression is seen time and time again with every one of his owners. Douglass is fortunate in discovering the liberating power of knowledge of which his owners are trying so diligently to conceal. With this discovery comes a "new conception" of just how evil the institution of slavery is, causing Douglass to consider the pursuit of this powerful tool. To further complicate his
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In his account, Douglass further explains how this overseer is the most dreaded of the slaves. This description of the overseer and others helps to illustrate the overseer's primary function as dehumanizing the slaves from the start and throughout their lives.

As well as weakening the slaves with physical attacks, another target for their means of control is with separation. This was looked at by the slaves as the worst form of punishment. From the start of the Narrative, Douglass mentions that he never saw his mother more than four or five times. Even when he was in St. Micheal's prison after his plot to escape was discovered, his main worry wasn't that he wouldn't be free, but that he was separated from his fellow slaves and friends.

Of all the notrosities involved in the suppression of a human race, quite possibly the greatest separation that many of the slaves suffered was the separation of education from their minds. William Lloyd Garrison put it eloquently when he stated that slavery ". . . has a natural, an inevitable tendency to brutalize every noble faculty of man" Lauter 1757). This statement is more than well supported throughout the Narrative of Douglass. Douglass first begins to notice the power of education when he begins learning the alphabet under his new master's instruction, Mrs. Auld. From then on Douglass is forced to seek out others in helping him to learn how to read and write. It is obvious that the whites were very aware of

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