Subject Ideology
Posted by Jenny
Posted on Thu May 11 16:36:17 2000
From IP  

Ideology means the upper class forced their ideas like their beliefs, their values and their art consciously or unconsciously to the working class.
As far as I have read, I only can find some example though the work "Narrative of Life" by Frederick Douglass. This story is about a black slave's life and what he saw though his life. He had mentioned how white men controlled them and treated them. This story is a real story, because it is the author's autobiography. From this story we can see how upper class forced their idea and values to the working class. This is not an art of ideology but we still can see some real example from the point of view of a nigger.
There are a lot of examples from this story and I have divided it into two parts. One is the consciously ways and the other is the unconsciously ways.
First I will give two example of the consciously ways. The white men have the belief that the Bible has said it is right to have slavery, "God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right. If the lined descendants of Ham are alone to be scripturally enslaved, it is certain that slavery at the south must soon become unscriptural". That means that the upper class have the right to treat slaves because they think God had give the right to them. They believed that Ham is send to Africa and all of the people there are slaves. Not only the white man have this belief at that time they also have given this belief to their slaves telling them their fate is choosen by God. "
The law of the white man was another example of ideology. All the upper class believed that they wouldn't be punish if they have killed a slave, at lease the law didn't say so. The speaker (a slave) said that " Killing a slave, or any colored person, in Tolbot country Maryland, is lot treated as a crime, either by the courts or the community". Even the slave would know that their life is not valuable, only the upper class will be protected by the law. "It was a common saying, even among little boys, that it was worth a half-cent to kill a "nigger," and a half-cent to bury one." In this case not only the master know it, even children know that their life are not worthy.
I will give two example of the unconsciously ways. The salves are not allowed to know their age, and they are not allowed to be educated.
The reason why the master wouldn't let their slave to know their aged is that they don't want them to know their identity. The speaker said, "I have no accurate knowledge of my agesíK By far the lager part of the slaves know as little of their ages as their ages as horses know of theirs" The speaker didn't know why till he have escape the system of slavery. He mentioned that at last he can "hold on a sense of identity".
The slaves are not allowed to learned to read. Because the white men want to control them by not letting them know the word "freedom" and what it means. Once a nice mistress was teaching the speaker how to read and teach him A, B, C. Then the master stops the mistress by telling her " If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his masteríK Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world." The white men believe that letting the slaves to learn it will spoil the slavery system, so they are not allowed to be educated. The slaves doesn't know the important of education, they only know that if they try to learn to read than they will be suffer by pains or maybe would be killed.
I am not sure if this fit Marxism critic or not but from this story I can see how upper class forced their belief, their view and their value to the working class. It seems to be unfair and not reasonable, but it is a true story and true examples of ideology.

 Where are the blacks? kate Tue Jun 27 13:26:00 2000
 Re: Ideology Irene Hsu Sat Jun 17 03:54:12 2000
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