Frederick Douglass Essay

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. an American slave. Douglass describes the dehumanisation of both slaves and slave proprietors. Many slaves were dehumanized by acquiring round. raped and even killed. He has seen many horrid things like the incident with Denby’s decease and how he had to contend over garbages of nutrient. Douglass non merely describes the dehumanisation of the slaves. he besides talks about how it besides changed many of the slave proprietors that he had encountered.

The first clip Douglass sees the dehumanisation of the slave proprietors was when he met Mrs. Auld. She had ne’er owned a slave before so she treated him with regard and with kindness. At first. Mrs. Auld is described by Douglass as beatific. sort. and low. She taught him the alphabet and how to read. Frederick said. “When I went at that place. she was a pious. warm. and tender-hearted adult female. There was no sorrow or agony for which she had non a tear. She had staff of life for the hungry. apparels for the bare. and comfort for every griever that came within her range. ” ( pg. 82 ) However. her hubby scorned her for learning a slave how to read. He influenced her with his corrupt mentality about handling slaves and changed Mrs. Auld from “Angelic” to “demonic” as Frederick described. He said. “Slavery shortly proved its ability to deprive her of these celestial qualities. Under its influence. the stamp bosom became rock. and the lamblike temperament gave manner to one of tiger-like ferocity. “

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This shows how immensely Mrs. Auld was changed merely by her hubby commanding her and stating her what was right in his head. Once she discovered this new found power. that she has power over another human being. she used it to her advantage and went from being the nice lady that taught Douglass how to read to the lady that would penalize him if she caught him reading. Another illustration of the dehumanisation of the slave proprietors is Mr. Covey. He was a really spiritual adult male and was besides nicknamed the “n****r breaker” because all the slaves that went to him. he emotionally broke. go forthing their life even more cheerless and glooming. Mr. Covey was proud of his moniker and cared really much for his repute.

It says in the novel. “Added to the natural good qualities of Mr. Covey. he was a professor of faith – a pious psyche – a member and a class-leader in the Methodist church. ” ( Pg. 101 ) Covey was devoted to faith and interrupting his slaves to construct on his repute that he has. The dehumanising portion is that he likes what he does and how he beats the hapless slaves. The fresh provinces. “My natural snap was crushed. my mind languished. the temperament to read departed. the cheerful flicker that lingered about my oculus died ; the dark dark of bondage closed in upon me ; and lay eyes on a adult male transformed into a beast! ” this shows how barbarous Mr. Covey is that he made Douglass “transform” . Everything that he learned went off. his little sense of joy if there was any was now wiped off from him. Douglass besides talks about the dehumanisation of the slaves.

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Ramifying off from Mr. Covey. Many adult females slaves were dehumanized by being “baby machines. ” Mr. Covey bought a adult females slave. Caroline. and her lone occupation was to engender with another adult male which was Samuel Harrison which was a married adult male. This is really contradictory because Covey claims to be a adult male of God when he is making things like this. Another illustration of the dehumanisation of slaves was when Douglass and his female parent were separated when he was born. The slave proprietors didn’t want them to derive fondness with each other because they thought it would deflect them from working. In the novel it says. “I do non remember of of all time seeing my female parent by the visible radiation of twenty-four hours. She was with me in the dark. She would lie down with me. and acquire me to kip. but long before I waked she was gone. “

This shows how his female parent would walk all the manner to another plantation merely to see him at dark when he was kiping because she loved him really much. It was really dehumanising when Douglass described what sort of nutrient they had to eat. “We were non on a regular basis allowanced. Our nutrient was harsh maize repast boiled. This was called MUSH. It was put into a big wooden tray or trough. and set down upon the land. ” He subsequently describes how the kids were called to eat the pulp like hogs and how they had to contend over the small they had. It was the endurance of the fittest. As you can see. dehumanisation had an consequence on the slaves by destructing them physically and mentally. doing them down and malnourished. and in some instances. deceasing. There were besides effects on slave proprietors but non every bit bold as the 1s slaves endured. Mrs. Auld went from being a nice. beatific lady who was nice to everyone and everything to cruel and penalizing.

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