Dehumanization In Frederick Douglass

Decent Essays

Dehumanization is the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities. This happens throughout the Narrative of Frederick Douglass and the documentaries that were shown in class: “Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner" and "Emancipation Road." Frederick Douglass’ life and Nat Turner's rebellion shows how a dehumanization of people reveals the lack of humanity of those that enslaved other people and the impact it has had on our current and past society. In the narrative, Frederick Douglass talks about what would happen to him and other slaves that would be “beaten up”. Slaves would be whipped and scolded for not working fast enough or even working the wrong way. When Frederick arrived at Covey’s plantation, Frederick would not go a day without being ridiculed. Even if he was doing something right, Covey would find a way to punish Frederick. Doing this, Covey and any other slave owner is taking away the their God Given rights.By treating them the way slaveholders did, the slaves more like animals than anything else.Frederick Douglass uses imagery throughout his narrative to describe the harsh conditions they had to live in. The slaves were denied blankets or a bed so they had to sleep on the cold, hard floor. Douglass described it as “feet were so cracked with the frost, that the pen which he was writing might be laid in the gashes”. The slaves were given not the proper food and not enough water. Douglass wrote,”Our food was coarse cornmeal boiled. This was

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