Frederick Douglass’ Life As A Slave

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by Frederick Douglass, Douglass writes about his life as a slave and up to his escape to freedom. Frederick Douglass goes into depth of how he survived the daily physical and mental brutalities of his multiple owners and his various encounted with people he considered as family. He additionally writes on how he learned to read and write and how he grew into a man whos single desire was to be free. Although Frederick Douglass’ was a slave in form, his various life experiences as a slave led him to conclude he no longer was a slave in fact, in which he pursued his life as a free man both legally and mentally. To be a slave in form is to physically and legally be a slave.

As Douglass was born into slavery, he was a slave in form. But he had encounters throughout his life in which he understood his place as a slave and how it progressively dehumanized him. In the narrative, Douglass explains that when slaves would sing it was not because they were happy but because they were unhappy as he writes, every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness (). Douglass expresses the dehumanization of slavery in which he expresses that songs were slaves crying out for help. He goes on to say that even the sound of the songs would overflow him with sadness.

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This comes to reveal how the little differences in life such as a song, portrayed how the dehumanizing effect on slavery was, and how it slowly led Douglass to pursue his freedom. Throughout the narrative, it is determined how unjust slaves were treated, as Frederick Douglass states, To all these complaints, no matter how unjust the slave must answer never a word (28). Slaves did not have voice, regardless if they believed what they were being punished for was correct or wrong. Slaves remained slaves in form and had no freedom or will to say anything because legally they were just a slaveholders property. This provided slaves the knowledge of how being a slave is unjust and it helps Douglass, over time, to realize how erroneous slavery was. These two life experiences Douglass went through contributes to his knowledge in which he was informed of the evils of slavery and how it engaged his pursuit towards being legally and mentally free.

A slave in fact is a slave who is mentally a slave. Throughout Douglass’ life he sees the mental power he has and he quickly realizes he is not a slave in fact. The battle with Mr. Covey allows Douglass to gain back his spirits and manly hood in which he writes the battle was the turning-point in [his] career as a slave (71). This fight was an immense win for Douglass, mentally as it enlarged his confidence. This fight brought back his courage and let him feel as if he had been reborn from the tomb of slavery. This is the first step into Douglass’ path in accepting he was no longer a slave in fact.

Douglass expresses while still discussing his triumph against Covey that [his] long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place (71). Although his fight with Covey was an immense win for him, this moment when he resolves his long-crushed spirit, represented him a mentally free. Douglass’ fight with Mr. Covey led him to conclude he was not mentally slave but that he was mentally free. Frederick Douglass’ state of mind in which he was no longer a slave mentally led to many of his triumphs and allowed him to be mentally free.

Toleration: Racism, Sexism, Xenophobia And Prejudices

The nation, since its inception, has fought to overcome discrimination of all kinds: racism, sexism, xenophobia, and prejudices. Over the years we have made progress in growing into a less prejudiced and more tolerant country, but there are still issues to be resolved. Throughout this course, we have read several readings from different time periods such as the fourteenth century, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, eighteenth century and nineteenth century. Years ago, society was more tolerant to how people were being treated unjustly. The first issue comes behind human’s capability to turn into more tolerant for indifference. Discrimination comes from intolerance of disagreement and inability to change the tolerance. Yet, what we must never do constitutes remain resistant to intolerances. Because if tolerance turns into the river devouring its own bottom, soon there would be no freedom left and the intolerant would rule the earth. Less well understood is the paradox of tolerance: Infinite tolerance must lead to the occurrence of attitude. Overall, if we continue unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, and if we are not willing to fight the tolerant country, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

In the book “”The Devastation of the Indies”” by Bartolome de Las Casas, it was inferred that Las Casas purpose was to try to convince those in power to end the enslavement and stop the cruelty treatment toward the Native American people. Tolerance was shown when the Spaniards were pictured to be “”Christians,”” but act like “”ravening wolves”” who had treated the American Indians as “”wild beast, cattles, or animals”” as if they were not human. Adding Information, the Spaniards were “”lions and tigers attacking the helpless sheep”” (Las Casas, p. 124), meaning Spaniards abused their power by undertaking unlawful acts by being so cruel and demeaning over the Indians. Also, Spaniards killed and destroyed people’s souls is because “”Christians”” have total power, their main force is to obtain gold, and “”and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits”” (Las Casas, p. 31). This event took place in the fourteenth century and tolerance was used more due to the violence towards the Indians. Today, people still do so many cruel things that it’s trying to stay silent when needed. Cultivated tolerance on a regular basis can help you see people better and judge less. To conclude, tolerance is still shown throughout the world, but is just not as prevalent as in ancient time.

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In the book “”Candide”” by Voltaire, he tried to transport his opinions by using a sense of humor and exaggeration about the numerous features of European society in the eighteenth century, which was also known as the Enlightenment. Voltaire depicts the idea of hope as being irrational and ridiculous. Also, Voltaire satirizes this philosophy of hope, the idea that was greatly applied during the Enlightenment period. In the story, the use of tolerant language was shown when Candide goes through a series of undertakings and ventures in the world, where he feels evil and misfortune. Voltaire conveys an opinion that, “”Men..must have corrupted nature a little, for they were not born wolves, yet they have become wolves”” (Voltaire, 31), meaning it is in man’s essence to be cruel and brutal to others. There was less tolerance throughout Candide because the main focus believes, “”all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds…”” (Voltaire 4). When human nature was brought to Voltaire, he had a negative view of the term. He thought that there was no “”perfect world,”” but in order for the world to be better is to make some adjustments. Adding Information, he thought that if humans changed their delusion and lack of knowledge with logical thinking and comprehension, the world could be a better place. Voltaire concluded that life was represented as a self determination, where human beings should make their own decisions. In conclusion, even though the world was not “”the best of all possible worlds,”” Voltaire created a humanity utopia demanding ordinary beliefs, which allowed him to realize his optimistic belief is the main target of the book’s satire, where he is the inventor of his own world and his awareness of morality should conduct him.

Another book that used tolerance was The Trial of Tempel Anneke by Peter Morton. This reading talks about the reason she was arrested and put on trial due her neighbors accusing her of poisoning animals and humans with her witchful ways. This was a memorable important event in the history of witchcraft because in the 17th century, only a few trials had gotten recorded if it left an impact on people’s daily lives, and this was an essential trial. Tolerance was shown major throughout this reading due to “”leg going away, horse died and fell into a mill pole, and all their animals died off.”” That is what made the court decide that she was a witch due to them receiving enough of complaints, and the brutal torture towards her for her telling the truth. Nevertheless, the community also had seen her a dangerous and harmful to the community. They were accusing her for bringing harm to others by the use of her magic and natural remedies, but still in some way helped. Adding Information, Anneke presented an unusual for an educated and extroverted women during “”accusations of witchcraft,”” and her unusual character traits did not allow her to escape her destiny due to the courts receiving complaints and brutal torture towards her to tell the truth.

The Tragic Event of the Holocaust was an event that showed the most tolerance towards Jews throughout this course. The Holocaust was a tragic worldwide event, which was a mass murder of six million Jews and many other people leading to tragedies and departed families and friends. Life during the Holocaust consisted of doing whatever the generals told them do in the concentration camps. Families were captured and were forced to live in the worst conditions with complete strangers. German soldiers made the innocent Jews suffer by breaking into their homes, separating them from their family members, basically anything that Hitler commanded them to do. Tolerance is the ultimate key to unlocking tranquility and prosperity within the world. If Hitler tolerated those Jews, the Holocaust could not have exterminated millions. Also, if someone tolerated another without seeming to skin colour, some would not have had to suffer in the hands of prejudice. The Holocaust means “”sacrifice by fire”” and is referred to when Jews and other groups were victimized and murdered by the Nazis because they were “”racially inferior. Holocaust affected everyone’s life due to the Kristallnacht, conspiracy theory, and biological differences within Jewish race. In closing, the Holocaust has left a huge impact on society to a point where this event will never be forgotten.

All and all, realizing that tolerance must make no room for intolerance is typical. This world can not be determined if there is an increase and decrease of tolerance behavior because violence happens every day, every hour, and every second. It seems like the world had become more and less tolerant because violence is not as extreme as it was back then. Tolerance was important in the modern times, but nowadays people do so many strange things that it is hard to keep up with the violence activities. We constantly mocked and shunned those who embrace intolerant ideologies, because intolerance is the one thing we can not endure. Moreover, the violence acts that happened in the fourteenth century, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, eighteenth century and nineteenth century are not as brutal as the things that are happening now, but violence is still going on and may be something that will not stop.

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