The Classic Slave Narratives: Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano

The Classic Slave Narratives: Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano

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The book The Classic Slave Narratives is a collection of narratives that includes the historical enslavement experiences in the lives of the former slaves Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, and Olaudah Equiano. They all find ways to advocate for themselves to protect them from some of the horrors of slavery, such as sexual abuse, verbal abuse, imprisonment, beatings, torturing, killings and the nonexistence of civil rights as Americans or rights as human beings. Also, their keen wit and intelligence leads them to their freedom from slavery, and their fight for freedom and justice for all oppressed people.
In the autobiographical writings Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs’ reflects on the times that her master Dr. Flint consistently tried to molest her sexually. In spite of her fears of horrible repercussions such as beatings or torture if she refuses to submit to him, Harriet always manages to evade his proposals to become his mistress by out-smarting him. She defends herself from his numerous attempts to seduce her, by the power of her mental strength and intelligence, and her Christian morality. While she fears him each time he secretly approaches her with his sexual propositions when he caught her alone, she could always think of ways to protect herself. For example she protects herself from the dangers of his sexual advances by removing herself from the master’s presence any opportunity she gets. She sometimes stays with her grandmother or aunt at night to protect herself from him. They are both Dr. Flint’s former slaves too who live on the plantation where she lives. Even though he threatens to kill her if she tells anyone, she tells his wife about his sexual advances, and Mrs. Flint invites Harriet to sl...


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...ons thereafter. This book was very popular all over England and it ignited antislavery sentiment all over the country.
Harriet, Frederick, and Olaudah were all slaves sharing their stories and experiences in their lives as slaves. All of their stories were similar as they spoke of the cruelty, brutality and utter inhumaneness of the overseers and masters that enslaved them. The most common threads and similarity to their stories is that they fought for themselves and for others to escape the horrors of this immoral institution called slavery. They all realized the importance of education in determining their destiny and the destiny of all people under the grasps of oppression. Their participation in the antislavery movement helped to fuel the sentimentality that supported the abolishment of slavery all over the world.





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THE CLASSIC SLAVE NARRATIVES

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