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Frederick Douglass’s claim and brutality of slavery

The brutality of slavery is portrayed by different authors at different events. Slavery was termed brutal as it deprives human beings of their basic human rights. Over the years, many writers have raised their voice against the brutality however, Frederick Douglass’s claim was claimed controversial as he included every persona as a victim in the ‘institution of slavery’. In the main context, Douglas tried to show that to the actual face of slavery and how it is corrupted and dehumanized(Dorsey). Before claiming every person involved in slavery as a victim, Douglas presented an overview of the situation of how his master’s kind wife was compelled to abandon the good deed to educating young Fredrick for the development of his own life. She was convinced by her husband that slavery and education are two incompatible aspects. Although Frederick Douglass’s claim about slavery seems straightforward, however, he supports his claim with the story of his master’s wife and her abandonment of good deeds in the long run.

Considering the brutality of slavery, Frederick Douglass argues that the on-going tradition of colonialism didn’t need slavery to be inherited in their generations as he believed their generation suffered from slavery. Even though slavery became popular in the area of the South, but the popularity was dependent on the nature of the market only. However, the situation in North differed in comparison to the South as it vanished early in this area and helped the people to get free of the aspect of slavery. Slavery was counted as an economic model thatgained potential growth in the time of colonialization(Brawley). However, the situation was not favorable for the people living in the area. The claim made by Frederick Douglass was correct in many different aspects. Victimization of slaves was evident and understandable however, the situation of non-slaves owing to the whites was also considered in the story. Even though non-slaves were termed as free yet they were resident in the plantations with huge populations of slaves.

Frederick Douglas’s claim is correct as he observed his master’s wife leaving his good intentions and deeds because of the incompatibility between education and slavery. Master was so convincible that his wife preferred slavery over education. In her attempt, she started to block the opportunity for young Frederick so that he won’t be directed towards gaining education(Frederick, 62). Moreover, she was inclined to maintaining the status quo for their family rules for generations. From this example, it can be assessed that even though young Frederick was not directly involved in the exercise of slavery, yet he suffered because of the lack of opportunities for a young and bright future. Moreover, the master’s wife was yet another victim of slavery as she was pressured and convinced to maintain the status as rulers in the area because of his husband who was an active master of the time. Moreover, such hard-heartedness was against the nature of the master’s wife yet she suppressed her feelings to look towards the bigger picture of making slavery excel and to maintain the status of her family.

To conclude, Frederick Douglass’s claim of slavery as an institution is a portrayal of the evils spread by slavery in different lives such as the lives of young Frederick and his master’s wife. Even though they both could have a bright future, but the aspect of slavery was a hindrance in their lives as education and exposure can lead them to lose their position as rulers in the long run. Master’s for the people around them turn out as the masters of the people involved in their personal lives as well. Hence, Frederick Douglass’s claim about slavery is correct, however, the writer needs to add clear arguments to support his claim.

Work Cited

Dorsey, Peter A. “Becoming The Other: The Mimesis Of Metaphor In Douglass’s My Bondage And My Freedom”. PMLA, vol 111, no. 3, 1996, p. 435. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/463167.

Frederick, Douglass. My Bondage And My Freedom. 1885.

Brawley, Lisa. “Frederick Douglass’s “My Bondage And My Freedom” And The Fugitive Tourist Industry”. NOVEL: A Forum On Fiction, vol 30, no. 1, 2004, p. 98. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/1345849.



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