In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass, a former slave, expressed his hate towards slavery by the use of vivid imagery and horrific stories of his time as a slave. Douglass made it his goal to shut down all false assumptions that one may have about the life of a slave and gives us an insight into what these individuals had to go through because of the white man. Furthermore, Douglass states his opinion on things such as religion within the states, the assumption of blacks being happy because of the songs theyd sing, and the overall wellbeing of the slaves living conditions.
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His statement on these topics help such down the false assumptions that individuals. An example of these false assumptions can be seen in George Fitzhugh’s The Blessing of Slavery, as Fitzhugh and many others believe that the slaves in the south are the happiest (Fitzhugh) and their rights of holding slaves is justified (Douglass, p.86) through their religious beliefs. They also believe that slaves have become moral (Fitzhugh) and intelligent (Fitzhugh) while in captivity and are protected by whites as if they were to be a laborer in any other part of the world their living conditions would be worse. Below will be the reasoning as to why these assumptions are false, and how Douglass will go to disprove such ideals by many of the whites during this time.
To say that the life of a slave was enjoyable and easy is far from the truth. Douglassr’s early experiences as a slave during his childhood help support such a statement. When people hear allowance (Douglass, p.26), they often associate the word with an award of some sort for an individualr’s hard work. Slaves were given an allowance and because of this many of the whites believed that the slaves were well taken care of and rewarded for the work they may have done. Frederick Douglassr’s explanation of the allowance shows these slaves were given the bare minimum if not less. For example, Douglass states that children would receive clothing yearly. Since they were unable to work (Douglass, p.26) they were only given two linen shirts (Douglass, p.26), and when the shirts worn out the children were left to fend for themselves until the next allowance period. The lack of clothes forced these children to often run around naked despite weather conditions or time of the year. Such suffering and lack of assistant from the slave holders help depict such their sadistic ways and have had an early impact on Douglassr’s opinion towards them early on.
Douglass can also be seen challenging the idea that slaves were happy because they would often sing. Those of such judgement assumed that the slaves were singing because they were content with what they were doing,
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