Free Argumentative Essay On A Tale Of Slavery
Type of paper: Argumentative Essay
Topic: Slavery, Literature, Life, People, Slave, Human, Education, Books
Slavery exists in human societies since time immemorial in one form or the other. Slavery is a system wherein some people are deprived of their independence and others are allowed to rule over them. The people, who are ruled by their masters, are known as slaves. They are subjected to a number of restrictions. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave” is a book that portrays the life of slaves in a realistic manner. The author himself was born as a slave who passed through a number of horrific sufferings in his life. This paper proposes an argumentative discussion on slavery and analyses the issue in perspective of the book written by Frederick Douglas.
Douglas describes the pain of being a slave in his book. Douglas was an African American male who was born as a slave, but he was an ambitious man and wanted to be free from slavery. Douglas portrays how his masters used to torture him and forced him to work like animals. Douglas describes that slaves were denied ample food and clothes. Douglas portrays his sufferings and recalls how he was unable to see his mother dying “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger” (Douglass, p. 4).
Douglas raises a number of significant questions on the humanity, society and the Christianity in his book. All his questions are not only relevant and logical, but are also indicating towards the pain that millions of people suffered in their life as slaves. He expresses his hate for the society that cannot provide education and food to every human being and treats people on the basis of colour. The author questions the basis of inequality and curses those who are responsible for such practices. “I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing.. . . . . Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears” (Douglass, p. 19).
Douglas even does not hesitate from questioning Christianity. Slavery has made him so blunt and ruthless that he did not care about anything including the god. His faith shattered when he faced all sufferings and witnessed others also in the same pain. Douglas expresses his agony and questions the god in these words, “When I think that these precious souls are to-day shut up in the prison-house of slavery, my feelings overcome me, and I am almost ready to ask, 'Does a righteous God govern the universe?” (Douglass, p. 90).
Douglass through his book tries to display the true picture of slavery and various emotions of the slaves when they were traded, or cruelly bitten by their masters, or not provided ample food, or provided accommodation in a dirty place, or treated as livestock. Douglass presents what America used to be during 19th century, and how the free land was free for white Americans only. Slaves were not allowed to do anything without permission of their masters, and they were not allowed to speak anything against their masters (Duran).
Douglass in his book presented the importance of freedom for a human being, and how it feels to be free. Douglass covered legal, political, economic, and historical aspects associated with the slavery, but his focus is on freedom. The author informs readers that freedom was not given to black people; it was taken by them. Douglass took several strong and courageous steps in order to be free. For example Douglass reverted to Mr. Covey by biting his hand. In another incident, Douglass fights back when covey was trying to tie him up, the fight went long and Douglass won.
Douglass also draws attention of readers towards importance of education in the life of slaves. According to Douglass, education plays an important role in the life of people and can be very helpful in getting freedom. Douglass understood the importance of education at very early age when he was working under Mr. Auld and he heard his master saying that slave will not be fit for their jobs and slavery if they can read or write. It will be difficult to manage educated slaves and it will also make them sad (Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave).
Douglass decided to learn reading all by himself when his master asked his wife to not to teach slaves. Douglass not only kept his education to himself but also taught other slaves about how to read and write. The story of Douglass is very inspiring for all people in present society as it tells people that they should never stop. Douglass’ story gives people courage to keep on fighting during their hard time in order to and get good future.
After observing different aspects of slavery and narrative of Frederick Douglas, the paper concludes that slavery is one of the most heinous practices that ever existed in human societies. Such inhuman practices raise questions on the whole civilization and people like Douglas sound very right while questioning the society, humanity and the god after seeing such things exist. Few people cannot be given the right to rule other humans merely because of differences that are related to colour and race. Frederick Douglas has portrayed just one realistic picture of such sufferings in his book, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave”.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. New York: Penguin Group, 2009.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Easyread Super Large 18pt Edition. USA: ReadHowYouWant, 2008.
Duran, Maria del Mar Gallego. "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ." Grammars 16 (1994): 1-2.