Slave Narrative Comparison (Douglass and Morrison)

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Alysha McFall
Humanities I
Paper Due: Feb. 18
Douglass/ Beloved

Slave narratives are published diaries of the different experiences slaves undergo while enslaved. They can be written in many different styles and from extremely different points of view. Although they are all slaves, they all have different experiences on their plantations either better or worse. The Narrative of Fredrick Douglass: an American Slave was written by Fredrick Douglass in a chronological style. He went from childhood to present and basically told a story about his life. Beloved by Toni Morrison, is a factual novel that tells the story of a slave by using flashbacks, or re-memories, because the main character is not a slave in the present time of the novel. Even though these stories are told from completely different angles, they both discuss many of the same conflicts within slavery. The destruction of the family, the death of the master of the plantation, and discipline and punishment are both illustrated strongly throughout these novels.

The destruction of the family is the most significant point within Beloved. The entire novel discusses how their family has been torn apart and tormented due to slavery and other acts caused by slavery. Firstly, the grandmother, Baby Suggs, is freed because her son buys her freedom from their master, but it will take him a lifetime to ever pay it off. Then Baby Suggs’ daughter-in-law, Sethe, and her children escape to live with Baby at 124 Bluestone Rd. As a family they were pulled apart even more because Sethe felt the only way to save her children from slavery was to kill them, but she only succeeded with one. Her two sons eventually left the house because of the ghost of their sister, leaving only Sethe, Baby Suggs, and Denver in the house. Eventually, Baby Suggs dies and the mother and daughter are left all alone; all of this due to slavery. Slavery really changed people’s views on life in general and drove...
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