The Slave Auction

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The Slave Auction Analysis

Imagine being ripped from your mother’s chest at a young age knowing you’ll never see her again. Listen to the screams of the little children around you as you hold on to your lover’s hand for dear life praying to every god imaginable that you two won’t be ripped apart.-- “I got a nice wench starting at 800”.-- Your grasp gets tighter as they examine you from head to toe. The bids are getting higher and higher, tears stroll down your face. You look at the stone cold face of your master who is unmoved by the horrible events happening. --“And she’s sold!!!” -- You gaze into your masters eyes and silently scream why. You kick and scream refusing to let your lover’s hand go as your new owner tries to carry you away.
American Slavery is one of the most gruesome and dehumanizing experiences in American History. Human beings were sold. These humans were beaten and treated less than animals. Despite this gruesome lifestyle, the slaves managed to make do with what they had. They became family despite their different backgrounds and cultures. Even with new found optimism they still had things to fear like the slave auction. Frances E.W. Harper’s Poems The Slave Auction and The Slave Mother depict every emotion and heart break of being sold as a slave. Each poem a few stanzas each tell a million untold stories of a slave’s anguish. Historically the Slave Auction was the most dreadful day in slavery. On this day the right price could rip an entire family into pieces forever.
In The Slave Auction Harper spares no details and shows the Slave Auction for the devil that it is. In the beginning of the poem she describes the young girls saying that they were “Defenseless in their Wretchedness”. Throughout the entire poem Harper uses sophisticated language to paint the picture of the Auction. The rhyme scheme or rhythm in this poem is ABAB. After reading this poem the reader can feel the sorrow and pain of having someone near and dear to their



Cited: Gates, Jr., Henry L., and Nellie McKay. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. 2nd ed. New York : W.W. Norton, 2004. Print.

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