This Paper Is About The Different Point Of Views On Slavery Frederick Douglass Gives In His Autobiography, Because He Experienced Slavery First Hand.

1112 words - 4 pages

Shining a New Light on a Dark SituationNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the first of 3 autobiographies written by Douglass, is perhaps the most informative book written on slavery. Slavery is looked at so generally by people of this time. People have very little knowledge of the truths behind slavery. Many people just think of slavery as a white people owning black people and forcing them to work using physical punishment to enforce their authority. Although this is did occur, slavery was much more complicated than this. There was a lot more complications and issues involved during the time of slavery. Frederick Douglass' autobiography shined a new view of what slavery was all about and all that took place, documenting adultery committed by male slave owners with female slaves and the consequences of that, the education of slaves and the relationships between slaves and slave owners.Perhaps the one aspect of slavery Douglass may have been the most fit to speak about was the consequences of adultery committed by slave owners with their female slaves. Douglass himself was mulatto, half black, half white. His mother, Harriet Bailey was a slave. Douglass' father is believed to be his mother's owner Aaron Anthony. In most cases of a slave having the baby of a master it was not due to a love affair, but rape. The master would either be doing this just for the feeling of power or for an inhumane way of making profit, creating more slaves. These mulatto slaves like Douglass' had it even harder in some cases than other slaves, if that is possible to imagine. Mulatto's brought on a lot of conflict. For one, this child was a constant reminder to its master's wife of the adultery her husband has committed. This would often lead to the child being treated worse by her then the other young slaves. Another conflict is upon the master himself, having to deal with the two relationships he is now engaged in, master and father. How can it be possible for this man to not, even sub-consciously show favoritism to his child. The master still must keep his authoritative stand as master and possibly even have to whip the child. The majority of the time, in this situation the master will most likely sell this slave or slaves in some cases. Douglass' describes the master keeping the slave as, "...only makes a bad situation worse, both for himself and the slave whom he would protect and defend"(pg. 971). This element of slave life is one little known and one that Douglass' knew of very well.Douglass' Narrative also documented an instance of educating slaves or attempting to educate them. Douglass himself was lucky enough to have the opportunity at one time to learn to read and write. While Douglass was enslaved by the Auld's he started being taught the alphabet and small words by Mrs. Auld. Douglass was one of the very few slaves to be blessed with such a chance. Then Mr. Auld found out what was going on and Douglass' education came to a screeching halt. Auld...

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