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Life of Slaves and Their Owners Essay

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Updated: May 3rd, 2020

The lives of slaves were full of hardships. Often they would better die than live in such a misery. Once sold, they became a total property of their owner with no right to being paid for their work, studying to read and write, social protection, self-defense against being punished by the master, and decent treatment and living as such.

The slaves’ working day began long before the dawn. They had to feed domestic animals, cook breakfast for their masters and prepare everything they might need when they wake up. No matter what the weather was the slaves spent whole days working on the plantations.

Often during the day they were punished by the owners if they were thought to do something wrong or do their job slowly. Both men and women worked in the fields but while the men were plowing and carrying crops, women were cutting and gathering them. The rest of the job was also divided with men focusing on more difficult tasks and women arranging house matters.

The working day of the slaves was not over with the dusk. In the evenings, female slaves were sewing quilts, cooking, making preserved food for winter, feeding domestic animals and poultry, cleaning out stables, making baskets, etc. The men were shoeing the horses, repairing fences, putting up additional buildings and doing another hard work. During the nights, women slaves often sew clothes for their families because the slaves were not provided with the needed clothing.

With no personal freedoms, the slaves were often forced to sexual relationships with their owners both male and female. They were often physically punished, namely beaten and whipped publicly, and had no right to self-defense or raising a hand on the white people. They did not have enough sleep and food, clothing, rest and personal time to spend with their families or study.

While slaves were working hard from dawn till dusk, slave owners lead a steady life. Unlike slaves, they were free to wake up whenever they wanted, read some books, have hearty meals and do whatever they wanted all day long.

Being plantation owners, they had some work to do, but most of the time it was limited to visiting local high-rankers, dealing with business matters and defining the schedule of the slaves’ working days and tasks for them to do.

They spent most of their time taking long walks along their plantations, controlling slaves and punishing them for the slightest fault. In the evenings, they usually had rich dinners with meat, fish, and vegetables, read some books, spent time with their families and friends, and went to bed after praying.

The ways of spending time varied depending on the gender of the slave owner. Men dealt with business matters and often went to plantations to control the slaves, while women stayed close to the house and most of the time spent enjoying themselves and their families, hanging around their children, reading, studying, sewing, etc., and controlling slaves and punishing as well.

So, the lives of the slaves and their masters were completely different. While the first were struggling to survive in unbearable living conditions and permanent need, totally disrespected and treated badly, the latter enjoyed their living indulging redundancy in every single sphere of life from eating habits to leisure and rest.

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