Dehumanization of Slaves And What It Is To Be Human
By stripping slaves of their human qualities, slave owners dehumanized their slaves.
Being a human means to have emotions and to have control on how you feel and what you feel
about it. The ability to make decisions on our own is also an important trait humans have.
Frederick Douglass was a slave in the 1800’s and achieved freedom to which he is able to
explain what slaves went through and how they were treated. Slaves were forced to work for
white men on plantations, and were given little or no food, clothes, and/or shelter to live in.
These slaves also never had the chance to learn to read, write, or anything to that degree.
Inside, humans possess the power to feel or to have emotions. Certain things in life strike
emotions and cause sadness, anger, or any other feelings a human may have. Another quality
humans possess is to sense the feelings in others. In this book, The Narrative of The Life of
Frederick Douglass, Frederick witnesses his aunt being strung up half naked by her hands and
whipped senseless by her master. The only feeling is fear that this woman may have. Animals are
psychologically trained by being punished for doing something wrong in much the same way the
slaves were “trained.” This kind of treatment made slaves emotionless about life in general.
“....the early separation of us from our mother had well nigh blotted the fact of our relationship
from our memories”( Douglass, 5). This quote shows the emotions that Frederick had for his own
flesh and blood and how it didn’t mean very much to him when his mother passed away. While
slaves didn’t have the chance to have human feeleings, anything they did was for someone else.
Slave owners controled the entire lives of slaves woring on plantaions. The clothing,
food, and any other possesions slaves ahd were given to them by their owners. The owners of the
plantions, and masters did no...