American Slavery Narrative Essay

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American slavery was an evil institution. I always inherently knew this fact was true in the back of my mind. However, after reading these three different narratives on the lives of slaves, my eyes have been opened to a whole new meaning of understanding. Just being able to put faces with the stories makes my heart cringe and makes me feel disgusted for the way these people were forced to live their lives. The three narratives I chose to read were: Linda Brent's, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the WPA narrative on Richard Toler, and the WPA narrative on Charity Anderson.

Linda Brent begins her story at her first recollection of knowing she was a slave. Up until that point in her life, she had never really known what it meant to be called a slave. She actually had a happy beginning with a father who was more or less considered free due to his carpentry skills, and her grandmother who is well respected throughout the community, who also has luxuries that are not granted to normal slaves. At age six, Brent's mother dies and her grandmother takes the role of her maternal figure. Her original mistress dies 6 years later, and Brent is sold off to another family. Brent is now under the house of Dr. Flint and from this point forward, her life begins to spiral downward almost to the point of death. The story then picks up when Brent is 15 and is now being constantly harassed by both Dr. and Mrs. Flint in a struggle between the hatred/jealously of the mistress and the sexual lust of Dr. Flint. Brent confides in her grandmother and her brother for protection and for advice. During these struggles, Brent falls in love for a free black man and wants to marry him, but Dr. Flint will not sell her to him. At this point Brent felt that, "…nothing seemed more dreadful than my present life" (Brent 42). She was then determined to flea from her horrible master. In near desperation, Brent decides to become sexually involved with a white male lawyer named Mr....
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