Frederick Douglass' Narrative
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The paper shows how the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" provides testimony to the psychological damage and subjugation that the institution of slavery brought to many African-Americans. The paper looks at how Douglass describes how the slaves were dehumanized by being referred to as "property", subjugated under a dominant, white, patriarchal class and blocked from establishing any family ties.
From the Paper:"African-American slaves were treated like animals, whipped, threatened, and kept in line under the "white man's power to enslave the black man" (364). This "white man's power to enslave" reinforced a dehumanizing treatment of the slaves as property. As the slaves were considered the slave owner's property, once a year they were lined up with all the animals to see how healthy they were and to determine their monetary worth. During these "valuation" of slaves, "[m]en and women, old and young, married and single, were ranked with horses, sheep, and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination" (373). Not only was this very humiliating, but it took away any worth or value that these slaves felt as human beings."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Douglass, Frederick. "The Life of Frederick Douglass." The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed.Henry Louis Gates Jr. New York: Signet, 1987. 323-436.
Cite this Book Review:
Frederick Douglass' Narrative (2010, April 22) Retrieved August 18, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/frederick-douglass-narrative-119364/
"Frederick Douglass' Narrative" 22 April 2010. Web. 18 August. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/frederick-douglass-narrative-119364/>