The Effects of Slavery
May 6th 2013
The Effects of Slavery
Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobson both write their compelling stories on what life was like as slaves during 19th century America. Both narratives define the harsh life of slavery and the unforgiving effects that occurred during their time as slaves. In the same way, both stories reveal the theme of the evils of slavery but also given their different gender roles, their experiences are completely different from one another. While both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobson’s Narratives undergo the corrupt power of slavery in 19th century America and were able to escape, the role of gender in society largely acts as a variance within these two stories.
Both Frederick and Jacobs were born into slavery; Frederick’s father most likely being his master, and Jacobs being lucky enough to have both of her parents. Though Jacobs had a safe and guarded childhood, after her parents died she began to see the cruelness of slavery. Frederick learns the evils of slavery earlier on in his life when he witnesses his aunt being horribly beaten by his slave owner. (Notes, 2013) Both characters express their deep hatred for slavery through their narrative themes. In Jacob’s narrative she argues that slavery destroys the standards of slave holders, practically without exception. Jacob describes her feeling when she realizes Dr. Flint has total control over her, “When he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in everything; that I was nothing but a slave, whose will must and should surrender to his, never before had my puny arm felt half so strong.” (Jacobs, Life as a Slave Girl, IV) Through this, she feels empowered to rebel against him in acts that later shape her life. Jacobs has a strong hatred to slavery that she shows through her rebelliousness and the chances she takes. Douglass shows his hatred for...
Cited: Douglass, Frederick. "I,X, XVI,." Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. New York: New American Library, 1968. N. pag. Print.
Jacobs, Harriet A. "XVI, IV." Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. N. pag. Print.
Notes, C. (2013, April 10th). Class Notes. Print.
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