Slave Life In The Antebellum South Analysis

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1. The insight that each of these sources offers into slave life in the antebellum South is how slaves lived, worked, and were treated by their masters. The narratives talk about their nature of work, culture, and family in their passages. For example, in Solomon Northup 's passage he describes how he worked in the cotton field. Northup said that "An ordinary day 's work is considered two hundred pounds. A slave who is accustomed to picking, is punished, if he or she brings less quantity than that," (214). Northup explains how much cotton slaves had to bring from the cotton field and if a slave brought less or more weight than their previous weight ins then the slave is whipped because they were either slacking or have no been working to their …show more content…

Many of them believe in what they call "conjuration," tricking, and witchcraft; and some of them pretend to understand the art, and say that by it they can prevent their masters from exercising their will over slaves," (209). In these sentences Bibb 's describes how slaves would perform or create a remedy so that their masters would not abuse them from flogging them. All of the narrative talk about how their family was while being a slave. Henry Bibb 's had a child, Mary Frances, and had to leave her when "she was large enough to creep over the floor after her parents, and climb up by a chair," (210), when he and his wife went to work. Bibb 's left his child with his master mistress and she would slap Mary Frances on the face leave a handprint because she was crying when her parents left. Many slaves ran away but Bibb 's ran away to go look for his family because he was separated from them. In Harriet Jacobs passage she describes about how she was born a slave and her father was a skillful worker. Jacobs explains in her narrative about her father 's "wish was to purchase his children; but, though he several times offered his hard earnings for that purpose , he never succeeded," …show more content…

The narratives were written by African Americans, but read overwhelmingly by white audiences and in these narratives there is evidence that show Bibb, Northup, and Jacobs had their white audience in their mind while creating their stories. In Henry Bibb 's passage he states that "Both parties are caught in the act by a white person, the slave is punished with the lash, while the white man is often punished with both lynched and common law," (209). "The slave holders are generally rich, artistic, overbearing; and they look with utter contempt upon a poor laboring man, who earns his bread by the "sweat of his brow," whether he be moral or immoral, honest or dishonest," (209). In these sentences Bibb 's had his mind on the white audience due to the way he was describing the slaveholders and how a white person was not punished with lashes. Solomon Northup "He fears he will be caught lagging through the day; he fears to approach the gin-house with his basket-load of cotton at night; he fears, when he lies down, that he will oversleep himself in the morning," (215). Northup wanted to describe to the white audience how slaves and himself were scared for there lives everyday being a slave while working for their masters, and how much pain the master 's caused slaves. In Harriet Jacobs passaged she says "O, what days and nights of fear and sorrow that man caused me! Reader, it is not to awaken sympathy for myself that I am telling you truthfully what I suffered in slavery. I do

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the narratives offer insight into slave life in the antebellum south: how slaves lived, worked, and were treated by their masters.
  • Analyzes how bibb and northup's accounts of their confrontation with their masters differ from jacob & her master because dr. flint doesn't abuse her.
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