The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

954 Words Oct 27th, 2015 4 Pages
Whipped, beaten and bloodied until there was no more energy left to give. African-American slaves in the early American world had to endure and struggle through some of the most gruesome punishments and on occasion, it was for no reason at all. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass displays some occasions where he, even as a young boy, was subjected to some of these terrible events. Douglass plays on the pathos of his readers right from the beginning by tugging at our emotions with the story of his Aunt Hester. Does Douglass portray his violence to be over the top? Some might say yes, but even if it’s over the top, it is because it’s accurate. Some punishments that the slaves endured were whipping, hanging, beating, burning, branding, shackling and imprisonment (Boundless). Many of the plantations that housed slaves used these forms of brutality. Slaves could earn a one-way ticket to a punishment by trying to run away, a form of disobedience or sometimes just because their master felt like it. One of the most violent forms of these brutal acts was the whipping. When a slave is whipped, they are literally stripped of their clothes and dignity and flogged with a rope, piece of leather or even cow skin with prongs. Depending on the slave master, the number of lashes changes. However, some masters just decide to whip until they grow tired or fatigued. In Douglass’s book, he talks about these horrific ordeals in great detail because he witnessed some of…
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