Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

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What effect does slavery have on the lives of the slave holders?

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It is impossible to exaggerate how terrible slavery was for slaves. Many were beaten, raped, forced to work in terrible conditions for long hours, deprived of family ties, and had to deal with harsh weather and little or no food. Harriet's entire tale gives voice to the immorality and degeneracy of the system that would eventually spark a bloody war and prove untenable. However, her book is also valuable in that it speaks to another problem with slavery: it is just as corrupting for white people. Indeed, the entire South and even the North were affected by the cancer of slavery. Slave masters were licentious and vicious, and their wives were jealous and cruel. Children of slaveowners learned too early about violence and sex and, as they aged, they became indoctrinated into their parents' system. Even white people like Mr. Sands and Mr. Thorne, who did not practice outright violence, were callous and racist. Lies and hypocrisy were rampant. Christianity was diluted and perverted in the mouths of southern ministers and their congregants. Overall, slavery was corrupting to everyone in its reaches.