Slavery and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass Essay

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Slavery and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his compelling story of life as slave and as a free man. Through the words of somebody who endured slavery, we can only get a taste of what it was like, for we will never truly know the feeling of the severe physical punishment and the cruelty the slaves endured. Whippings, beatings and lynchings were all too common during the era of slavery. However, not only were their bodies treated so harshly, but their minds and souls were as well. These slaves went through a tremendous amount of mental and physical abuse. The slaves were deprived of what the common man takes for granted. They were forbidden to educate themselves. They were separated from their …show more content…
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, depict many memorable incidents that led to the opposition of slavery. Frederick Douglass has woven many themes into his narrative, all being tied with a common thread of man's inhumanity towards man. As depicted in America's History, "white masters had virtually unlimited power, both legal and physical, over their slaves" (p. 297). A slaves relationship with his or her master usually went no further than the master thinking of that slave as no more than an animal that worked in the field, and that is what slaves did. They worked in the fields like animals. Children were uprooted from the arms of their mothers, "before the child has reached it's twelfth month, it's mother is taken from it and sold to other slave holders" (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave p. 48). Brutal whippings occurred for even the smallest imagined offense, "a mere look, word, or motion" (Douglass p. 118), women were treated as no better than common concubines and the slaves were forced into living quarters, "on one common bed… cold, damp floor" (Douglass p. 55) worse than some of the farm animals. The slaves were not allowed even the most meager portion of food, "eight pounds of pork and one bushel of corn meal" (Douglass p. 54) to last a month. Clothes were scarce and illness was never tolerated.

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