F Essay

Frederick Douglass Essay

The institution of slavery was extremely dehumanizing to both whites and blacks. The book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass proves this statement true many times throughout the narrative. The novel gives a firsthand account of the life of a slave and helps to show how dehumanizing slavery was.   Frederick Douglas himself lived the extreme dehumanizing conditions that existed during this time period.

The institution of slavery was extremely dehumanizing to blacks and made blacks feel inferior to whites. Dehumanization played a crucial role in the narrative by Frederick Douglass. Slavery played a major part in causing this by demoralizing, degrading and insulting African Americans. In the narrative slaves were dehumanized throughout the story. There were many instances where a slave was demoralized, degraded or abused. In chapter three Frederick Douglass shows an example of slaves being abused and demoralized. Speaking of how slaves were kept from taking fruit from the owner’s garden Frederick Douglass said “The last and most successful one was that of tarring his fence all around; after which a slave was caught with any tar upon his person, it was deemed sufficient proof that he had either been into the garden, or had tried to get in” (Douglass 59). These slaves were being malnourished and were punished upon any attempt to survive. The slaves were being neglected by the owners and were not being fed enough food to survive. The slaves were barely given enough food to survive and many slaves died due to malnourishment. Due to the dehumanizing of blacks, slaves faced physical trauma and psychological trauma. Not until nearly the end of the eighteenth century was branding and other extreme and brutal methods of punishment cease being used as ways of punishing slaves. Unfortunately slaves still continued to be dehumanized by being beaten by slave owners. These beatings cause both physical...