Thursday, November 30, 2006

Slaveholders

Consider the slaveholders and overseers described by Douglass in the first two chapters of his Narrative. Can we call these people "evil"? Explain your response.

Please respond by 10 pm Tuesday night.

28 Comments:

Blogger emily k said...

The slave holders are evil. They find joy in whipping the slaves and making them bleed for hours. They show no remorse when the slaves yell and scream and when they plead for mercy. The overseer, Mr. Plummer, was the meanest one of them all. He would always carry a whip and a heavy cudgel. The man would cut and slash the slaves’ heads so bad the Master of the farm would scold him. The harmful side of these people are always present and there. The pleasant, nice, side never appears and therefore, they seem to be evil. Exceptions exist with every thing and there is also an exception to the slave holders and overseers. Mr. Hopkins was the only overseer that took no pleasure in whipping the slaves.

8:46 AM  
Blogger amberh said...

Yes, I think that we can call these people evil. My reason for this is the fact that they hae no conscience! The fact that they whip people for punishment is very wrong. But then these slaveholders whip past the poing of pain, and do it for their own sick enjoyment!

9:08 AM  
Blogger CecilyJ said...

I don't believe that the slaveholders are evil, because it is their way of life. Society has imprinted in their brains that it is okay to whip them. It is not there fault that this view has been imprinted in them. In this time period slaves were not seen as people they were seen as posessions. I think it is wrong and completely unethical, however it is not the slaveholders fault, it is societies. We cannot blame these people and call them evil, for something they didn't realize was wrong

2:27 PM  
Blogger karlak said...

Yes, I think that the overseers and slaveholders can be called evil. They don't show any remorse for what they do. In fact, they completely enjoy it! I think that anyone who can deliberately hurt someone else for pleasure is evil. For example, Mr. Severe, one of the meanest overseers, waits for any oppurtunity he has to hurt the slaves! How could any human being be so sick?

2:31 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

Yes the slaveholders are evil. How can a human being be so cruel and hurtful to another human being? For someone to whip another person is so wrong! These innocent people are treated worse than just slaves, they are treated like animals. Mothers are seperated from their children, they are forced to work long hours in the field for no money, they recieve hardly any food or clothing, and they are physically beaten. This is beyond wrong, it is pure evil. These horrible slaveholders and overseers enjoy beating their slaves. To enjoy violence is evidence of being evil.

3:07 PM  
Blogger MollyR said...

The slaveholders are extremely evil. They take pleasure in hurting other people, and they don't even feel remorse. I agree with Emily. Mr. Plummer was definetely the worst. Mr. Severe horrible too. In the book, it said that he was cursing, raving, cutting, and slashing slave all day. The slaves rejoiced when he died. Anyone who purposely hurts a fellow man is evil. It is a horrible act.

3:42 PM  
Blogger kylek said...

The slaveholders are evil. If an argument were made that they weren't because they were brought up being taught that the slaves were worth nothing, I would reply that their intentions were evil therefore making them evil. People don't have to know that they are evil to perform evil deeds.

4:12 PM  
Blogger hadley b said...

This question is very opinion based. My opinion is that the overseers are evil but back then, that was considered normal behavior. The white men owned the black slaves and no one questioned it. If they misbehaved, they were whipped and nothing was unusual about that. Today on the other hand, slavery is very cruel and rarely occurs. Although time has a big effect on this question, my opinion still remains that they were not evil.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Lizzie A said...

I don't think that we can call all slave holders evil, because even though some of the slave holders enjoyed torturing their slaves, they didn't all enjoy it so. I also think that some slave holders didn't think that they were doing wrong, because that was what they had been tought to think since they were children. Also, it was socially acceptable to do things like that to slaves, and to own slaves.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Lizzie A said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Michael M. said...

For the most part, the slave holders are evil, but from what I’ve read so far they are, but I don’t think all of them mean to be evil. In today’s society these slave holders would be considered evil because of the harsh torturing they perform, but back then, there was nothing wrong with it because all slaves were treated poorly. So in the hearts of these overseers, I don’t think they, themselves, are evil, but their actions are certainly immoral.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Scott A said...

Even though the time period allowed such behavior, I am vehemently opposed to it, and I believe that the slaveholders are evil. Whipping a person so badly that "warm-red blood came dripping to the floor," is wrong in any society.

7:34 PM  
Blogger JasonW1 said...

Yes, I do think that the slave owners that beat and whip the slaves are evil. Although I do not believe that the ones who treated them nicely and not evil. Even though back then you were bought up to treat black people poorly. I do not think I would have been able to whip a black person. I think I would relize that they were normal humans who acted the same as white people. So, I do think that the slave owners who whipped and beat there slaves were evil.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I strongly believe that we can call slaveholders "evil". They really go out of place to put these slaves into misery, and they do it just to make them work harder? I don't understand what whipping somebody is going to accomplish. There is just no purpose for them to do that, and therefore, I believe that it is an evil work.

8:42 PM  
Blogger umbertok said...

I agree with emily slave holders were evil. Someone who holds no value to human life other than a few cents is horrible. I disagree with Lizzie and Cecily, saying that sometimes a person is evil is like saying a zebra can change its strips. It also is wrong in saying that slave holders weren't evil because it was a custome at the time. The slaveholders still had the chance to stop all of it.

8:42 PM  
Blogger GaryH said...

I think that the slave holders are not evil. At that time it was common to have salves and have them do your work. It was just the way of life. However, the slave holders treat the slaves lower then dirt which makes them somewhat evil. The slaves have no say their own lives.

8:45 PM  
Blogger MaureenM said...

I believe that we can call the slave owners evil! Some people are saying that it was the way of the society to whip them but any person could see that it is wrong doing. I don't believe that any body, even at that time, could honestly do something to that extreme and say there was no harm in doing so.

9:31 PM  
Blogger MaureenM said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:31 PM  
Blogger shadeh said...

I do consider the slaveholders as evil people. I think tht anyone who thinks themselves so superior to others, just by the color of the skin is evil. But to abuse and torture them for it, is a crime much worse. Men like Mr. Plummer, who can so arragontly whip slaves are definetly evil and deserve the same torture to be put on him. I think it takes common sense not to abuse people just because of their skin color! These people were fully aware of what they were doing, and shouldn't not be given any excuses.

5:49 AM  
Blogger shadeh said...

I definitely consider the slaveholders as evil people. Anyone who can think that they superior to others because of the color of their skin is an evil person. But to abuse and torture them because of this is a crime far worse. Men like Mr. Plummer, who can so arrogantly walk around and just whip slaves, are definitely evil and deserve the same to be acted upon them. It takes common sense that hitting and whipping others because of their skin color is a bad thing! The people definitely knew what they were doing, and should not be given any excuses!

5:54 AM  
Blogger shadeh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Jordan L said...

I think that today looking back on these events we will say that these people are evil and I as well think that. I don't understand how someone can whip and beat another person for doing jobs for them without pay. Brutal jobs that I think in themselves are evil. The nicer overseer, Mr. Hopkins, was consider less harsh because he did not take pleasure in whipping the slaves. I believe though that wether you like doing it or not, it still doesn't make it right. The way these people treated another human being is beyond me and I don't care what time period it is, I think it is still wrong. Even though during this time period alot of people believed that slavery was right and it was normal to have slaves I still think it is an act of evil for another human to be whipped and put to work as these slaves did in America.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Brittany F said...

I believe that the slaveholders in this book are indeed evil. No matter the time period, their actions are uncalled for. For example when the young woman did not fulfill her masters orders her master found an excessive amount of plessure in whipping her until her blood ran off her body onto the floor. Another example on a less severe level would be not providing small children with clothes even in the winter. No one deserves to go through that especially young children. Altogether their actions were completely out of hand and very evil.

4:29 PM  
Blogger danielle s said...

The slave holders are evil, yet a few factors play into their cruel behavior. These men had growen up learning that negros were below them this was enstilled in their minds until they too became slave holers. Also during their period of time, the punishments that they used were considered normal. Overall, the acts of the slaveholders were evil, not in all cases however was the slave holder.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Cassy H said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Cassy H said...

I believe that the slaveholders were evil. They enjoyed beating the crap out of the slaves whether it was with a whip or a club. They have no conscience. They whip their slaves for their entertainment. However, Mr.Hopkins showed a little compassion, like a parent to a child.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Amelia said...

Some people are saying that the slave holders are not evil because society made them the way they are. Yet, who is society? They are! Pointless argument.

Still, I don't know. Obviously (or at least, hopefully) the slave holders did not think of themselves as evil. So what did they think? How did they justify their actions? Looking only at Frederick Douglass's opinion is foolish to the extreme. We are only seeing one side of the argument, and it is the side we usually agree with in contemporary society. Thus, we gain little. Instead, we should be reading a slaveholders' diary AND Frederick Douglass, THEN making our decisions based on all the evidence laid before us.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Brittanyyy999 said...

Slaveholders aren't evil. Just by whipping black people doesn't nesisarily make them "evil." They are just people that aren't very nice. You have to realize that this is what they grew up with, and what came natural to them. They probably didn't know back then that it was a cruel and stupid thing to do. Just like people who smoke today don't think it hurts them, but later in life they realize that it was stupid and unhealthy. Evil is what the devil is..and slaveholders were not the devil.

7:58 PM  

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