Fredrick Douglass Essay, Research Paper
Fredrick Douglass vs. Gone with the Wind.
That’s how I perceived the two pieces of literature, Douglass is writing a true account of what his experience has been in slavery while Gone with the Wind is a fictional production of southern life. Pardon the simile but they are like black and white. Douglass gives a graphic portrayal of his own beatings and being forced to work. The guy didn’t even know when his birthday was, at first I was like big deal, but after I thought about it and that would suck not knowing when you were brought into the world. Not knowing your Mother real well would seriously bite but I loved how in the night she would walk the twelve miles to the plantation just to put her boy to sleep. Very touching. It’s odd for me to think of my Mom dying and not being that sad. Douglass said it was like hearing about a stranger dying.
Gone with the Wind was however a completely different story. I look at Scarlet and I’m thinking, “man what a fox” how could anything bother her? Does she even have a clue as to how terrible slavery really is? She has everything, the house, the clothes, and the influence, everything except for the man of her dreams but hey she eventually gets a piece at the end of the show. I can see why this movie has been around for like fifty years, it’s because it’s what’s people want to believe, what flatters us. I’m guilty of this, I would much rather watch a pretty decent movie about the “southern dream”: ladies, money and debutantes opposed to almost feeling the sting on my back as I soak up Douglass’s narrative on slavery, sickness and tribulations.
Douglass repeats a couple times that literacy is the seat of freedom, I don’t know about that. Sure, you are free to read when possible and write when allowed but that doesn’t deliver you from the bonds of slavery, who cares if you are educated? To a slave owner you are one step closer to an uprising and this in turn makes him punish you even more brutally. I don’t believe its freedom to read. If I was a slave I would be so depressed I think I’d give up and let myself die, I mean it can only get better from here right? Douglass had a pair and tried to show everyone that although he was a darker shade he could and would make a difference.
The south was majorly two faced or as you put it “bipolar”. One side of the South’s face was primped with blush and covered in heavenly smelling perfume, flashing a warm welcoming smile and offering lovely gestures such as a huge meal and a little Southern Komfort. On the other side was a twisted, horrific picture discolored by the bruises of many and fouled by the stench of the deceased, smirking with black and/or missing teeth and the only offerings to be had by this atrocity was a lashing and if you were lucky, a “blanket”. Complete Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome.
These productions clashed on a colossal scale yet I don’t recognize it as a all-out battle to the death it seemed more like a “don’t ask, don’t tell” kind of deal. People knew what was taking place but were either too proud, scared, arrogant or ignorant to care and to right their wrongs. The Civil war was to me a terrific display of courage on each side, perhaps the South didn’t know any better or the North was sticking their nose into something they shouldn’t have. No each one had its cause and the correct one came out victorious.
Like I stated earlier, the reason these actions against blacks were not brought to light was because people didn’t want to revel in it’s disgusting-ness; it was a darkness that no lamp could dispel. Slavery was a siege on some peoples values and a profit in others pocketbooks, anyone with a pulse it would seem should be repelled by it’s deviance to “love one another”. But to others it was a way of life in which they knew of no other. The disturbance could not be injected in to their conscious minds and that’s why, I believe certain things were oppressed as much as they were.
The Norton Anthology-Douthern Literature
The film; Gone with the Wind