FrederickDouglass’s narrative was an epitome of what was the order of the day during theslave era. He shows different aspects eliciting whiteoppressive mechanism targeting reliable means and power over the slaves. Various issues are eminent in the narrativethat depicts the stances in which the whites had in place to put the slavesunder control and also for purposes of enduring that there was a guaranteedsupremacy on their part. The bigquestion is whether the slaveholders’ there was different use mechanism that isconsiderably oppressive particularly on those who resisted. Therefore is thesuggestion correct that slavery depicts an oppressive system? Thereforeit is sufficient to state that there exists reason to suggest that slaveholderswere oppressive in that ways in which they treated their slaves.
There are various ways in which slave-holdershad put in place to ensure that there was total control over their slaves. As adepiction of the first issues in which Frederic Douglas had to undergo in hisearly life, there is an indication of a platform in which slaves wereundergoing a taming process. The act of being separated from his mother at atender age shows the inhumane nature in which they were exposed (Douglass 2).Unawareness of age due to lack of paternity is a show of the oppressive life inwhich a young child was living. Further, he writes that he was occasionallywitnessing a lot of whipping among other children, and also he was no differentfrom them (26). The situation is a show of the brutal nature in which slaveholdersmistreated slaves.
Other instances whichshow the issues of oppression is the fact that the kind of livelihood in whichslaves were living was adamantly low and its demonstration is the place, whichthey were living. The issue is confirmed by the act of being mixed in one roomto sleep on damp floors while using miserable beddings (27). Onecan portend that slaveholders were significant violators of human rights. Thefirst example is the instance whereby a child aged seven is sent to work (34).
Child labor was dominant during this era. However, there are those who feltthat slaves had some right in the society they were in at that time. The citywas a depiction of a sense of freedom to a slave and getting an opportunity towork was an indication of almost being at liberty (34). Denial of education was another issue that isportrayed through an attempt by his master’s wife to teach him.
The warnings byhis master to the wife that knowledge will makethe slave unfit to be a slave is an indication of strategized criteria bythe masters to keep slaves under their control (34). Asa result, slaves were not happy by the in which their masters were treatingthem. It is evident that the taste of education was the key changing fact inwhich the slave community had to come across for them to realize their leewayto freedom and in the enhancement of their determination to be free. In thenarrative, there is the determination by Douglass to get more education eventhrough giving bread to white children for purposes of getting to learn (34).Other issues that emanate to have been the main cause of slaves trying toresist the problematic issues is imminent through the many beatings in whichthey had to undergo under the hands of different masters (57). Other problemsinclude being forced to work and without being given food (56). Inthis regard, it is justifiable that slaves had to break out of the chains inwhich they were hanging. Slaves who were undergoing mistreatment like Douglashad to fight their way out of their oppression.
Their masters would beat themand would run away but could be recaptured again (57). The only last resort formany was the use of force to free them. The narrative states a fistfightbetween Douglass and one of his many masters where he later was hired out as aresult. Such instances portray how slaves were bolder to fight for theirfreedom at all cost (65). Escaping by some of the first slaves was a leeway inwhich to bring slavery to an end (107).
The issue that came following suchescapes includes the insightful encouragement of fellow slaves to stand fortheir rights as free people and by giving them hope of developing themselves (117).Therefore,it’s arguable that slaveholders used oppressive methods against slaves. Additionally,slavery depicts a system full of oppression.