Freedom and Pursuit of Happiness
Freedom and Pursuit of Happiness

Freedom and Pursuit of Happiness

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  • Pages: 5 (2286 words)
  • Published: November 21, 2021
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Douglas says that, “the shadow of a slave master is greater than the Majesty of the free state.” Douglas (p. 208) further states that a freeman does not understand why the shadow of the slave master is bigger to the slave than the majesty of a free state, but when he realizes how the slave knows the shadow of his master than he does for the supremacy of the state, he comprehends about the whole matter. The statement means that many free people who may have experienced slavery but are now free may wish to go back to slavery. On the same point, Melville states that the reason why many of those who say they are free are not is that, they preferred being in slavery where they had a social life than the harsh conditions that they encounter when they are free such as loneliness, hunger, and discrimination to mention but a few (Melville 11). Douglass again says that, a man who is homeless, with no shelter, bread, friends, nor money, may not assume a joyous tone and may not be happy with the life that he is living. Douglas continues to compare the conditions of a slave in slavery and a free state. Some decided to go back to slavery where they preferred to be, then in a free country where they say they returned in worse conditions than when they escaped. They went back to slavery with the mindset that they are free in slavery than when they the free-state.

Melville’s point of view contradicts that of Douglas on how Americans termed the slaves as property and their value was greater

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than money. The author says that property was a clear signifier that God was on their side. His theory contradicts Douglass since he says that society comes from God’s contract between God and people. They were also assured of prosperity if they abide by God’ laws and His will. However, the reason why people suffer in slavery is that they subject themselves to another ruler. The black population’s acceptance to become slaves for white people portrayed that they are superior to them. The fact that black people lack the material prosperity compared to the white people means that the white people are politically powerful and wealthy, is a sign from God that the black people are lesser beings. Nevertheless, people have equal rights and should exercise their right to freedom (Robinson 207). The European Americans were more concerned about their political freedom together with the economic independence. Melville talking about Thomas Jefferson says that he never supported slavery, saying that the earth belongs to all living people, and it is wrong to make others suffer because of the debts of the dead. To interpret such a statement, it means that it is a mistake to make people suffer for the mistakes of others. For instance, the slave’s children were made slaves because their parents were slaves.

Douglass and Melville’s views on slavery are the same in that they do not support the fact that some people should make others their slaves. On the other hand, Melville, through Thomas

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Jefferson’s words, says that he was free only by appearance (Melville 9). The way to solve the problems of our past is to avoid repeating the same mistakes of depriving people the freedom they deserve. People should not suffer slavery because they are poor and cannot live a wealthy life and have as much political power as the white people. Another way to solve the problems of our past is through assisting the victims of poverty to improve their lives. Melville states that, if those who are slaves stop being slaves, there will be unemployed people in American would cause more trouble than the slaves would, so the best way to keep them occupied is to provide jobs for them but under favorable conditions. Douglas in his views about solving our past problems on slavery says that man is the image of God and should be treated in a fair way. If people put that in mind, then it will be possible for many to forget the harsh past that they were made to experience because of slavery.

Another way to solve past problems regarding slavery is to educate them and give them a chance to do a better job than the unique manual roles that are tiring and tedious. Douglas in Hannah Arendt words says that the Americans ordered that the slaves be sent away from America to their native land after they are freed because they will cause more trouble if they are left jobless in the country. That means the white people granted freedom to the black people so that they can give them the chance to lead an independent life and become developed. Arendt supports that point by saying that the South kept slavery out of its states for fear that people from other nations that were against slavery would undermine their state which would affect them politically (Arendt 210. In pursuit of happiness, freedom was given to the slaves, so their desires are met and so that they can enjoy their freedom like the other free men.

Douglass says that the best way to solve these problems, which arose through slavery is by appealing to the spirit of patriotism where everyone should treat fellow men like the image of God, and the blessings of God will be upon humankind (Douglas 381). Everybody should also have the political freedom and natural justice regardless of their race. He then says that everybody is entitled to liberty, and he/she is the rightful owner of the body (Douglas 285). Therefore, keeping good relations with fellow men will help solve the past problem of slavery. Morgan and Douglas describe slaves as property but according to them, they should be set free and bestowed the opportunity to live and develop their lives. In his opinion, he meant that those who own slaves should treat them like treasure since they are property. Nevertheless, it is a wrong way to describe humans, and that is why the two authors say that humans should be free. He explained how people need to be social with others and avoid enslaving their fellow men. Douglas bases his argument

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