Comparitive B/W Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass

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From Slavery to Freedom
Slaves, male and female, were subjected to similar hardships. Both searched for freedom and had dedication to help free others. The narratives of Harriet Jacobs, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” and Frederick Douglass’, “In the Life of Frederick Douglass” portrayed two very different accounts. The narratives detail what living a slave’s life entailed. However, Jacobs’ emotional memories and obstacles of being a female slave make a stronger connection to the reader who is capable of feeling her emotions through the intense words she wrote. Douglass and Jacobs were born into slavery, each with moving stories about their different experiences. Douglass was deprived of a childhood and had limited family contact throughout his life. At a young age, he was fully aware of being a slave suffering beatings and torture along with witnessing the abuse and death of slaves around him. Religion was used against him as justification for the abuse he received. Unlike Douglass, Jacobs grew up in a comfortable home surrounded by family and knew nothing about being a slave until the age of six, when her mother died. At twelve years old, she was sold to a new master and began to realize the reality and hardships of slave life. Although she went through most of her life without enduring physical pain, she suffered intense mental torture. Family, especially her grandmother, instilled a deep faith of God and religion in her. How a slave was treated relied mostly on their gender. Douglass had been subjected to brutal beatings, long hours of physical labor and starvation. Jacobs’ life was similar in ways but opposite as well. Jacobs once expressed that, “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women”. A female slave experienced mental and sexual abuse by her master, which was a way to dehumanize them and lose all dignity. If a woman bore children, she had no way to protect them against the evils of slavery. They automatically follow...
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