AMH Term Paper - Sabine Justilien AMH 2010 Narrative of the...

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Sabine Justilien AMH 2010 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass This paper will seek to analyze the use of coercion and manipulation jointly, with manipulation used as reinforcement to the violence used by slaveholders. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass describes the life of Frederick Johnson who, although in this brief amount of text, marks the cruelty of slavery through powerful events. In many instances, it is seen that Douglass witnesses the brutality both mentally and physically of the slaveholders, making the statement that they maintained their authority through manipulation more than through coercion justifiable, but not completely true. In recognizing that manipulation did in fact play a role in the years of slavery, along with violence, we are able to see that the bonds were not only physical but psychological as well. What reason could there be that hundreds of thousands of slaves could not revolt against masters who in compared in number were drastically smaller? The most recognized form of persecution in slavery is the physical beatings. The idea the slaveholders held was “to whip for the smallest offences, to prevent the commission of larger ones” (Douglass 46) and whip when least deserving and allow 1
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Sabine Justilien leeway when most deserving of a whipping (Douglass 10). Douglass concluded that the numbers alone were enough to have cause for concern amongst the white society. Allowing a slave to get a taste for his freedom only antagonizes him to seek complete separation. As Douglass so eloquently quotes Mr. Auld, “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell” (Douglass 20). The severity of the punishments was enough to ebb the restless spirit within the workers from reaching its frenzy
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This note was uploaded on 08/19/2011 for the course AMH 2010 taught by Professor Minor during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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AMH Term Paper - Sabine Justilien AMH 2010 Narrative of the...

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