Beauty Of A Slave Girl Essay

Beauty Of A Slave Girl Essay

Length: 1905 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Performing gender through particular masculine or feminine actions is one of the techniques used to differentiate the sexes from one another. Specifically for women, femininity is a very important way of fitting into a community properly. The focus of femininity and the pressure it puts onto women greatly impacts the individual lives as well as the progression of the American identity as a whole. Since both "The Scarlet Letter" as well as "Life of a Slave Girl" were both set in the 1800 's, both texts display many of the same feminine traits for both main female characters. Some general expectations of women in order to be considered feminine include the need for them to be submissive to men, motherly and selfless to children as well being morally stable. These expectations create a very narrow way of living that these women have to comply with in order to be considered valuable members of their community. Consequences of these women not adequately doing so would involve the outcast being used as an example for the rest of the women of the community how not to behave. These beliefs of American women and their femininity impact not only the individual but the country as a whole and how the American identity changes. Since gender roles are extremely concrete, the binary between men and women force women to be feminine and the men to be masculine. These extremes cause men to be viewed as more dominant while creating women to be seen as more submissive, thus allowing men the right to have power and control over their female counterpart. This form of treatment of women allows for the American identity to be based on commodity, which stems from the property of women.
Although many of these traits seem to be superficial, qualities incl...

... middle of paper ... proves the inequality that was between the abilities of men and women. When compared to Linda, Hester 's experience with being considered the property of a man was slightly different because she was not a slave, but as a woman, Hester was still considered property to her husband. "Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where thou art, and where he is." (Hawthorne 68). Her husband had the belief that Hester genuinely thought that she belonged to him in the same way as a material good. This way of thinking and the reliance of acquiring property and owning materialistic goods in order to be seen as more thriving is still present.. Although laws have legally changed so that people cannot own another person, the idea of gaining personal growth through possessions has constructed America to be reliant on the prosperity that came with ownership of goods.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay example

- Slaves are aware of their positions in society and have the choice to comply with their masters’ demands in order to gain a greater benefit to themselves often in the form of physical protection from abuse. Within the plantation hierarchy, the house slave was considered higher up than field slaves due to their close proximity to the master (Hall 566). The house slave’s position in the plantation microcosm evoked not only favor from the master, but jealousy from the field slaves. The fair-skinned, house slave woman and her master’s control over her mental psyche is a defining factor of her identity in relation to the other slaves on the plantation....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
1996 words (5.7 pages)

Oroonoko : The Royal Slave By Aphra Behn Essay

- Oroonoko; The Royal Slave is written by Aphra Behn who was an English author. Her novel was first published in 1688. At its time of publication and still today this day, a lot of controversy surrounds Behn’s novel. It is important because it was one of the first published abolitionist writings by a woman. Behn influenced future writers to talk about subject that would normally be considered taboo. Oroonoko is about an African prince who is truly in love with a beautiful girl by the name of Imoinda....   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade]

Better Essays
2459 words (7 pages)

Stirring up the North to See the Horrors of Slavery: Harriet Jacobs’s Narrative "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"

- Educating the North of the horrors of slavery through the use of literature was one strategy that led to the questioning, and ultimately, the abolition of slavery. Therefore, Harriet Jacobs’s narrative Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is very effective in using various tactics in order to get women in the North to pay attention and question the horrifying conditions in the South. By acknowledging that not all slaveholders were inhumane, explaining the horrific abuse and punishments slaves endured, and comparing the manner in which whites and slaves spent their holidays, Jacobs’s narrative serves its purpose of arousing Northern women to take notice of the appalling conditions two millio...   [tags: Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave G]

Better Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Women Of A Slave Girl By Linda Brent Essay

- White women were situated in many different ways throughout early American history. Women were used as audiences for progressive movements, imagined as the definition of purity, and even written as a tough, underestimated captive. The stories Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, “Young Goodman Brown”, and “The Captivity of Hannah Dustan”, are three very different examples of how women were situated between 1700 and the mid-1800’s. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was written by Linda Brent under the pseudonym Harriet Jacobs in 1897....   [tags: White people, White American, Young Goodman Brown]

Better Essays
1694 words (4.8 pages)

Incidents During The Life Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl In the excerpt of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", Harriet Jacobs aims to convince her readers how slavery effects young girl 's life’s. She wields control over her audience because of the nature of the autobiography. Autobiographical works are based in that only one point of view is presented and that is the point of view of the protagonist. Jacobs uses rhetorical strategies and maneuvers to shape the reactions of their readers in her narrative. She repeatedly includes realistic images of brutality at the hands of the slave-owners, constantly uses an emotional appeal, connotation, and euphemism....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Suffering]

Better Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

The Film American Beauty Essay

- The Film American Beauty      In life, everyone must make choices. Choices give an individual the freedom to decide the path which they will follow. In the movie American Beauty, each of the characters has a choice he or she needs to make. The main character, Lester Burnham, is faced with many choices that could either lead to his ultimate happiness or draw him further into his despair. Carolyn Burnham, Lester's wife, is faced with a loveless marriage that exists only because she does not possess the willingness to break the cycle....   [tags: Movie Films American Beauty Essays]

Better Essays
3373 words (9.6 pages)

The Difficulties Experienced By The Slave Women Essay

- The Difficulties Experienced by the Slave Women In Harriet Jacobs book called; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she describes her life in an enthralling story that clearly reveals how complicated the lives of slaves were before the Civil War. As a result, she portrays the ruthless punishments, privation of food and sufficient clothing, severe labor and wrecked families. In this book, Harriet Jacobs discloses the cultural binary structures of black and white women. Moreover, she mainly concentrates on the subject of a woman’s sexual history to show that gender conventional images, which make the life of women slaves harsher than slavery for men....   [tags: Black people, Slavery, White people, Race]

Better Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Slavery Of The Slave Trade

- Before Catwoman, Nubia, Storm, and Vixen, there was Torchy Brown, Patty-Jo ‘N’ Ginger, and Candy that displayed Black femininity in the comic world. Historically, caricatures showed Black female bodies as slaves, whipped, hung, and sold. These caricatures fabricated a racial and sexual stereotype of Black women, while other images drew awareness of a bias attitude. In 1792, Scottish cartoonist Isaac Cruikshank drew The Abolition of the Slave Trade illustrating a nude African female slave being pulled up by a rope on a pulley by her ankle as her bare-breasted body and buttocks holstered up in the air exposing her private parts because she refused to dance for the ship’s captain John Kimber....   [tags: Slavery, Racism, African American, Race]

Better Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

The Film 12 Years A Slave Essay

- The film 12 Years a Slave takes us into a twelve-year window of Solomon Northup’s life. Its origin comes from Solomon Northup’s book, with the same title, that recounts one fragment of America’s most embarrassing exploits. The film was directed by Steve McQueen and was released in the year 2013. The director chose 12 Years a Slave to work with after much searching for non-fictional story that featured a man who was ripped from his family and forced into slavery. Solomon’s story was just that. Many critics have been praised the film and particularly single out Chiwetel Ekiofor’s performance as the best acting of the year (Solomon Northup)....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Gender]

Better Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Slavery 's Impact On A Dark Girl Essay

- Slavery’s impact on a “Dark Girl” Slavery was abolished over 150 years ago though the impact can still be felt on many American families today. Regardless, if your family owned slaves or if your great great great grandmother worked on a plantation slavery is a part of our history. The goal of slave owners was to strip Africans of their identity and make them assimilate to American culture. By doing this the slave population lost unity and adopted to their environment the best way they knew how....   [tags: Black people, Race, Slavery, African American]

Better Essays
1181 words (3.4 pages)