In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass explains, in great detail, how slave master would use a variety of methods to dehumanize slaves located on their plantation. These methods involved both severe physical and psychological trauma. Nevertheless, Douglass remains diligent and finds a way to resist the harsh reality of being a slave. Because of his immovable desire to acquire knowledge to his fighting encounter with Mr. Covey, these experiences help shape Douglass to be the archetype of what it means to go from slavery to freedom. This essay will highlight the physical and psychological tactics used on slaves. In addition, the aspect of how Douglass resists the
The fact that both Northup and Douglass physically fought against their masters was an achievement in terms of rebelling against the oppressive system of slavery. The punishment for raising a hand against their own master was a death penalty to the slave. However, both Northup and Douglass, in full acknowledgement of the consequences that may follow, still decided to fight against their masters. Angered by the unjustified whipping that was going to befall him by the hands of Mr. Tibeats, Northup wrote: “My fear changed to anger, and before he reached me I had made up my mind fully not to be whipped, let the result be
In the book Narrative of The Life of Fredrick Douglass, and American Slave, we find that Fredrick went through a lot of manipulating and diminishable acts. Some are: being separated from his mother at birth, being whipped, witnessing aunt Hester being whipped as a kid, not getting enough to eat, a deprivement of clothes, and witnessing old Barney getting killed. Slave owners would do this to make slaves inferior and also have insurance that the slaves won’t run away. Despite these horrific conditions, Douglass through standing up to Mr. Covey, Learning to read and write, and earning his own money, eventually got the skill and courage to escape slavery.
As a child, Frederick douglass was unable to form an emotional bond with his mother due to the limitations set by slavery, and was both mentally and physically tortured. By the time he had turned into a teenager he had managed to learn how to read and write, and had been under the service of multiple masters & overseers, most of which had been cruel and unforgiving. Yet, there was an urge in Frederick Douglass’s life that had caused him to fight back, and so he did, and not
The most electrifying moments in Douglass’s narrative was seen when Douglass decides to fight Mr. Covey back. Douglass gets the courage to fight Mr. Covey because he had the magical root in his hand. In the Narrative, there are many instances where violence is being depicted but in most scenarios it is seen when the slave owners discipline the slave. The roles were never reversed until this moment. After this fight, Douglass longed to be free more than ever. Though this act of violence is not what Douglass wanted, it did help him stay motivated. This act of violence can be seen as an act of resistance against slavery.
He argues that they could take down the massive beast that were slaver holders at that time. Douglass’s transformation from an abused slave to practically a free man helps to prove it to the North. The strongest case he makes is the skirmish between him and his master, Covey. The actual fight would have taken only a few minutes, but Douglass describes every blow that he gives and takes so that every person, no matter their knowledge of anything in the South, would be able to understand the risk he took and his accomplishment. He also was able to recall minute details, like the smell of the barn, because it was so important to him, that he needed people to understand what he did.
In 1833 Douglass was sent to a “slave breaker” who flagellated him constantly in an effort to physically and mentally break him down. Finally after 6 months of working with covey in all kinds of weather conditions every day except Sunday, Douglass was “broken in body, soul, and spirit.”(Douglass 2064-2128) Douglass lost the will to do anything intellectually he was numbed expressively “my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died…” (Douglass 2064-2128). After enduring this treatment he tried to get protection from his former master and absconded to him. After this covey was set on beating Douglass to death and in a stable he tried where Douglass fought back and told covey “that he had used me like a brute for six months, and that I was determined to be used so no longer.”(Douglass 2064-2128) Only until Douglass seized this opportunity was he no longer subject to covey’s yoke of oppression. No longer bound his mind was free to soar and he was able to pen his autobiography in addition he was also an abolitionist who helped end slavery. His path through slavery was harsh and it took great patience to withstand that condition and to rise up. His experience of slavery was no different than any other slave of the time
The fight with Mr. Covey gave him hope for the future. “This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave”(Douglass 43). The fight that they had revived him with the will to live. The turning point revived his determination to be free and returned his self confidence. “It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood.
The persuasiveness of conflict is a key component on how he was able to relate his effectiveness of achieving his goal of pursuing whatever his white overseers forbade. An example of conflict Frederick uses is when he went to his master to be released from Mr. Covey’s estate. While Douglass communicated with his master, his master explain “that he belonged to Mr. Covey, and that he must go back to him, come what might; and that he must not trouble him with any more stories, or that he himself would get hold of me.” This answer is not what Frederick Douglass wanted to hear. Since this was not the news he had hoped to hear, he did not follow orders and did not return back to his owner, Mr. Covey. The art of conflict contributed to the main point of this autobiography because it showed that when Douglass did not get his way, he figured out another route to continue his journey of pursuing whatever his white overseers
In the Narrative, Douglass shows slave holding to be harmful to the slaves themselves, as well as to slave proprietors also. The degenerate and reckless force that slave proprietors appreciate over their slaves has an unfavorable impact on the slave proprietors ' own mental health. In the narrative, Douglass finishes his general delineation of servitude as unnatural for all included. Throughout the span of the Narrative, Douglass adds to a qualification between genuine Christianity and false Christianity, he gives us a insight which would be hard for anybody to give. We realize numerous things from Frederick Douglass`s Narrative. We discover that at one point some slave proprietors which for his case Mrs. Auld, wanted to treat slaves like normal people with the gift of education and kindness but, we additionally discover that their drive to learn things change in the weeks of being beaten and tormented so much that all they genuinely need is Freedom. Douglass in his Narrative needed to simply escape and rest from his torment. He was severely beaten and tormented by Thomas Auld, Captain Anthony 's son in law. He got injured to the point that his willing to die and just become free from the misery of being a slave. All he needed was to escape and be free. Even when he got to be free he still feared slavery and well changed his last name from Bailey given by his mother to Douglass. He kept Frederick because he still wanted to keep that sense of identity (pg.66).
Douglass had little to no control over the first half of his life as a slave. Oscar had a little more control in his attempt to create a farm and have a back-up plan with the Navy. In Douglass’ position, there was a very isolated mindset as a slave, and it was difficult to overcome the mental manipulation of the owner’s. That Douglass was able to overcome the manipulation, was an exception and not the rule. My ancestors’ originally moved to an area where they were not welcome. As opposed to overcoming the situation and figuring out a way to better themselves, as Douglass did by learning to read and write, they moved to an area where they were accepted. Douglass seemed to be willing to fight to get the rights he deserved, but my ancestors chose to run away and live to survive another day. The only connection could be ignorance. When my ancestors came to America they did not speak English, and while Douglass could speak English, he was ignorant to what was being written around him and about the topic of slavery. But as Douglass struggled to find ways to learn to read and write; my ancestors struggled to learn the
There were many skeptics from both the North and South who did not believe that an escaped, uneducated slave could have written such a narrative, nor did they believe the detailed atrocities that were said to exist in the slave states. The freedoms that Douglass was fighting for were the same freedoms that the early American revolutionaries wanted for themselves. As Childs was saying about the slaves vs the law, in the Narrative, Douglass talks of the slave owners and their overseers as the law. Chapter 4 in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass makes it clear that slaves live in continual terror and in an extrajudicial system. Douglass makes an argument here against the existence of two different legal and moral systems, one for whites and another for slaves. Again, Douglass illustrates that slave owners rule by example; the horrible punishment exacted on Demby was meant to be an example to others. Slaves are scared into subservience. The control of slaves requires complete physical, as well as mental,
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, depicts a vivid reality of the hardships endured by the African American culture in the period of slavery. One of the many things shown in Frederick's narrative is how slaves, in their own personal way, resisted their masters authority. Another is how slaves were able to create their own autonomous culture within the brutal system in which they were bound. There are many examples in the narrative where Frederick tries to show the resistance of the slaves. The resistors did not go unpunished though, they were punished to the severity of death. Fredrick tells of these instances with a startling sense of casualness, which seems rather
What the average person does not know about slavery is all of the inhumane behavior that was tolerated. To describe these acts as cruel would be an understatement, Douglass does not hold back on the tragedies he witnessed and he does not hold back on sharing them with the world. For so many years slave owners comforted themselves in the thought of the romantic image of slavery, claiming it was God’s will to let these people suffer, claiming that it was not an extreme environment. The only
Throughout “Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself,” Douglass recalls the acts of violence that befell the slaves, particularly women, around him at the hands of their masters. Douglass recalls the circumstances under which his witnesses his first act of violence: