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Paige Smylie

Mrs. Carroll, Crain Davis , Ms. Mackey,Mr. Uribe


September 16, 2018
Douglass One Pager

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and
public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the
practice of slavery​. ​In the Narrative life of ​Frederick Douglass, he reveals his theme of
oppression by showing the readers how slaves had no human rights and how the masters were
being cruel to the slaves.
First, Frederick Douglass goes on to explain how the slaves had no human rights and they
were treated as property and not humans. On page 26 in the book, Douglass speaks against not
human rights as slaves, He states,” I speak advisedly when I say this, --that killing a slave, or any
colored person in Talbot county, Maryland is not treated as a crime, either by the courts or the
community.” This evidence shows the readers that killing a slave did not mean anything in the
state of maryland. The slaves were treated as property and not actual humans whom they were. I
feel that Douglass was trying to reveal his theme of oppression by showing that slaves had no
human rights because that’s all he went on to explain in the story. It also states in the story that, “
There was a warrant issued for her arrest, but it was never served. Thus she escaped not only
punishment, but even the pain of being arraigned before a court for her horrid crime.” This
evidence also shows how another person got away with killing a slave and served no type of
punishment. Which goes to show that human rights for slaves wasn’t even a thought.
Second, Frederick Douglass also goes on to show his theme of oppression by showing the
readers how the masters were being cruel to the slaves. The word “ Cruel” was used alot in this
book to try to paint a image in the reader’s head about how bad the slaves were being treated
and how the master’s were being horrible to the slaves. In the text on pages 25 It states, “ He was
cruel enough to inflict the severest punishment, artful enough to descend to the lowest trickery.”
This evidence shows how master Mr.Gore would give the slaves the most severest punishments
for anything they would do. This shows that the master’s were not only cruel but they also didn’t
have no pity for the slaves. It also states on page 25 as well, “ The first call was given Demby
made no response, but stood his ground. The second and third calls were given with the same
result. Mr. Gore then, without consultation or deliberation with any one, not even demby an
additional call, raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim.” Which
shows that the slaves were being treated cruelly by their master’s, which is apart of Douglass’
theme of oppression.
In conclusion, Douglass wants his readers to understand how slaves had no human rights
and how they were treated as property instead of humans, and this relates to today because even
though we are living in 2018, individuals are still being treated as if they aren’t human which is
considered “Modern Day slavery” which also relates to the second claim of how slaves WERE
and still is being treated cruelly.