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Hard Questions About Living in Poverty or Slavery

Living in conditions where one’s life and death do not depend on oneself is one of the most challenging events in life. Examples of those conditions are poverty and slavery: they can lead to the total demolition of personality. They can make the one a vile or just a broken person. In that way, the ultimate question is: how to remain human while living in the conditions of extreme poverty or slavery?

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The one living in poverty is the slave of the poverty, and it can break him or her. It is easy, in such conditions, to degrade completely and to lose a personality. Similar are the conditions of slavery, when, again, one’s life is not depending on one’s will, and the master can twist it as he wants (Douglass, 2003). Those conditions are indicative: they show the essence of those undergoing them, whether they will survive and become better or break completely.

In the case of slavery, one’s conditions depend highly on the character of one’s master. Those slaves treated fairly by the master tended to be more satisfied; nevertheless, they felt that they were not in the right conditions and suffered from that (Douglass, 2003). According to Douglass, in the times of Southern slavery, religious masters were, in general, much crueler than non-religious (2003). Religion, good by itself, can be a plausible cover for vile actions, and in the society of slaveholders, there are all conditions for such a cover. In that way, nothing can be a justification for slavery.

Another hard question: what would I do if I were in slavery by myself? Firstly, it is better to keep silent due to each word can lead to a punishment. Thoughts can lead to essential investigations and ultimately can help break free, which is why masters were trying to prevent slaves from thinking (Douglass, 2003). Secondly, it is crucial to be alert at each moment, as the master can appoint a task at any time, and if one is not ready to do it, the master will punish the slave. Thus, while being in slavery, it is important to track everything happening around, be ready for all tasks, and hide all thoughts while not stopping thinking.

Reference

Douglass, F. (2003). My Bondage and My Freedom (J. D. Smith, Ed.; Illustrated ed.). Penguin Classics.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Hard Questions About Living in Poverty or Slavery." November 6, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/hard-questions-about-living-in-poverty-or-slavery/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Hard Questions About Living in Poverty or Slavery'. 6 November.

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