Pain In The South Essay

654 words - 3 pages

Slave narratives offered a great insight into the lives of the slaves. Many former slaves offered their stories to express their troubles from when they were in repression. To further the abolitionist cause, former slaves wrote narratives about their lives in bondage, so that they could express the destruction slavery caused for the slaves as well as their owners, the Southern religion, and the entire antebellum South.
The constraints caused by slavery did not only apply to the slaves, but the slave owners as well. Abolitionist and one-time slave Frederick Douglass (1995) stated in his own slave narrative, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, that, when he moved to Baltimore, he met a kind mistress for the first time, however the master of the house put an end to the kindness the mistress showed to Douglass, making the mistress hard and against Douglass in any aspect of learning (p. 19-22). In this case, a mistress, unacquainted with the customs of slavery, was trying to help a slave, but she was informed of the ways of slavery, to spread the dehumanizing effects of slavery on the slaves under her.
The religion of the South was warped to intensify the cruelty of slavery. Douglass (1995) explained that, when his master experienced religion, his condition worsened, due to the master using religion as an excuse to be cruel (p. 32-33). Many masters used references from the Bible which seemed to encourage slavery, so they could punish the slaves more and more cruelly, instead of treating the slaves as equal people. In the same incident, Douglass (1995) tells the story of a lame slave girl who was whipped for her disability, and all the while her master was quoting the Bible to justify himself (p. 33). Slave masters were known to commit terrible crimes, sometimes just because they could, and they desired to be right, no matter how cruel the act. The religion practiced by slave owners was used to...

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