Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland into slavery. Throughout Douglass life he faced and saw constant brutality as a slave. The corruption in slavery was made evident in the way Douglass described his life story. Many like Douglass were forced into slavery with no or very limited options, being stripped from their freedom, slaves are forced to take on the hardships of being a slave. Throughout the narrative there are many accounts of brutality that slaves have endured physically and emotionally being shown and how those accounts of brutality ultimately led to resistance.
In the institute of slavery slaves were severely punished for the simplest offense, facing physical brutality everyday. For Douglass it was never a rare occasion to see people with marking of beatings like, The head, neck, and shoulders of Mary were literally cut to pieces. all throughout her body nearly covered with festering sores, caused by the lash of her cruel mistress . Many people like Mary had to submit to this way of life, of constant brutality, some even faced worse some better. For instance, women would suffer more, like Douglass Aunt whose master desired her presence and due to her being with another man he would stripped her from neck to waist, and waiting Before he commenced whipping . Slavery was facing punishments of whipping for the simplest offense and even at times being literally covered with blood for simply not completing a task or because the mast was in a bad mood. In addition, slave masters would whip the slave to an extent causing the warm red blood to drip and as a way to justify the heinous act slave owners would quote this passage of Scripture using religion as a justification for slavery. The physical brutality of slavery was a pain on the outside, but it would then convert to a pain on the inside.
Slavery would take a toll on people it will affect people mentally and emotionally, leaving them distraught, fearful, and with little hope. Not only were slaves affected by slavery but slave owners as well, like an old Mistress of Douglass became even more violent in her opposition than her husband himself , affecting her mentally, subsiding to society and losing part of her kind nature. The brutality of slavery affects everyone, on an emotional level, changing their personality to withstand the hard times of being a slave or having a slave. Douglass has had to overcome emotion tolls of slavery when his younger brother was grabbed by the throat, threw him on the ground, and with the heel of his boot stamped upon his head till the blood gushed from his nose and ears , the physical brutality Douglass brother suffered also affected Douglass on a mental level. He was overcome with fear, worry, and anger. Inclusive, Douglass himself was faced with multiple accounts of the reality of slavery, that he ultimately felt broken in body, soul, and spirit. , completely hopeless. Douglass had lost to slavery, being physically abused to emotionally tormented. The brutality of slavery was a way to prevent slaves from resisting, to stop them from fighting for their freedom, by damaging them physically and emotionally.
Resistance was an act slaves hardly committed. Some of the outcome of resistance was death or a punishment so severe, it was close to death. Slave owners would fear having resistance occur because that would mean they lose their power, and slaves will gain hope, assurance, and fight back. Douglass even showcases his resistance when he gained an unexpected courage when he resolved to fight, fighting back as he seized Covey hard by the throat demonstrating resistance, retaliating. Even though Douglass felt completely broken before he resolved to not letting slavery get the best of him, he fought against the institute. Douglass wasnt the only slave to ever resist. Another slave by the name Demby who had plunged himself into a creek, and stood there at the depth of his shoulders, refusing to come out., but as a result of his resistance a slave owner raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim, and in an instant poor Demby was no more . This is ultimately the outcome of resisting, death. Unlike Douglass who was lucky enough to still be alive, most slaves didnt have the same luck.
The act of resisting was considered a severe offense. Slave owners tried to eliminate any resistance because it was considered as a fight of freedom, and it was a fear of possible uproar in slaves, rebellion. As it was feared that slaves would run away Douglass took the risk and his thought was that he could not hope to get off with anything less than the severest punishment his only outcome of trying to escape was life and death, yet what made the sacrifice worthwhile was the blessedness of freedom . The only reason Douglass would escape would be for freedom, the chance to be free man, free from the brutality of slavery, free from the horror of being a slave.
The institution of slavery is a system filled with brutality. Slaves are faced with brutality that has a physical and emotional toll. They are severely punished some even end up on the brink of losing hope, feeling completely broken. But some will fight back against the institution. Douglass has faced brutality both physical and emotional, he was subjected into a system of dehumanization, he was on the brink of losing hope, but ultimately fought back. Douglass wasnt going to let slavery defeat him, break him, he was going to fight for it all, his freedom.
On the contrary, for most slaves freedom wasnt an option, slavery had oppressed slaves. Slaves were implemented into a system of corruption, stripped from their freedom, given no rights, yet hoped for freedom. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass had showcased the reality of slavery, the corruption of it, setting wave for a path of freedom. Even today people realize the brutality of slavery through the narrative, Frederick Douglass has opened up peopler’s eyes on slavery in the past, present and even the future.
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