The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave And Incidents

The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave And Incidents

Length: 1675 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The institution of slavery had no remorse for the men, women, and children that were exploited in order to uphold the financial stability of the South. It thrived on the ability to break the backs of enslaved people to maintain control but the brutal conditions affected more than physical well being. The brutality on slavery transcended into all aspects of life for those who were enslaved and its effects can be seen throughout all aspects of their personhood. The cruel institution of slavery sought to rip all threads of identity from the enslaved class and create a population that could be dominated by White supremacy. Slavery had profound effects on the way the Black people viewed themselves and understood their positions in society. While it succeeded to take all agency away form some, others were able to formulate their identities within the institution, keeping them from within the ultimate control of the slaveowner. Through the examination of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, one can identify the ways in which the conditions of slavery contributed to identity formation of enslaved Black people and begin to understand what happening to an identity that is not honored within the institution.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass features several moments in the life of Douglass when 're the physical toll of slavery and the cruel treatment that came from an overseer or master influence a switch in his understanding of his role within the institution of slavery. These moments of conflict with the White master sparked for Douglass a rekindled interest in freedom and the world beyond the South. However to understand the ability for Douglass to ...


... middle of paper ...


...morals. According to the text, “There may be sophistry in all this; but the condition of a slave confuses all principles of morality, and, in fact, renders the practice of them impossible” (181). The conditions of enslavement forced enslaved women to go against their beliefs and their moral compass as a method of survival.
In summation, the experiences of both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs depict the effects that cattle slavery had on the identity development of Black people. In the case of Frederick Douglass, it sparked a hunger for freedom and agency over his being. Harriet Jacobs was forced to sacrifice parts of her religious identity, which was integral to the household in which she was raised, in order to escape the sexual assault of a master. These autobiographies both as a representation of Harriet Jacobs declaration that “Slavery is damnable” (145).

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Comparing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents in the Life

- Comparing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl What provokes a person to write about his or her life. What motivates us to read it. Moreover, do men and women tell their life story in the same way. The answers may vary depending on the person who answers the questions. However, one may suggest a reader elects to read an autobiography because there is an interest. This interest allows the reader to draw from the narrator's experience and to gain understanding from the experience....   [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
2161 words (6.2 pages)

The Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet A. Jacobs Essay

- A slave narrative is to tell a slave's story and what they have been through. Six thousand former slaves from North America told about their lives during the 18th and 19th centuries. About 150 narratives were published as separate books or articles most slaves were born in the last years of the slave regime or during the Civil War. Some Slaves told about their experiences on plantations, in cities, and on small farms. Slave narratives are one of the only ways that people today know about the way slaves lived, what they did each day, and what they went through....   [tags: slave narratives, frederick douglas]

Better Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Traditions in Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

- A Medley of Traditions in  Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl     Though considerable effort has been made to classify Harriet Ann Jacobs'Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself as another example of the typical slave narrative, these efforts have in large part failed. Narrow adherence to this belief limits real appreciation of the text's depth and enables only partial understanding of the author herself Jacobs's story is her own, political yes, but personal as well....   [tags: incidents]

Better Essays
3751 words (10.7 pages)

The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass Essay

- Slave narratives were one of the first forms of African- American literature. The narratives were written with the intent to inform those who weren’t aware of the hardships of slavery about how badly slaves were being treated. The people who wrote these narratives experienced slavery first hand, and wanted to elicit the help of abolitionists to bring an end to it. Most slave narratives were not widely publicized and often got overlooked as the years went by; however, some were highly regarded and paved the way for many writers of African descent today....   [tags: slave girl, a twist, jacob]

Better Essays
890 words (2.5 pages)

Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Essay

- I will begin with a comparison of the two books, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” and “Harriett Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” with their title pages. Douglass’s title is announcing that his entire “life” as an “American Slave” will be examined. While, Jacobs’s title offers a contrast and proclaims that this will not be the story of her full life, but a selection of “incidents” that occurred at specific times in her life. Jacobs refers to herself in the title as a “slave girl,” and not an “American slave,”....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Better Essays
1043 words (3 pages)

Slavery and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass Essay

- Slavery and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his compelling story of life as slave and as a free man. Through the words of somebody who endured slavery, we can only get a taste of what it was like, for we will never truly know the feeling of the severe physical punishment and the cruelty the slaves endured. Whippings, beatings and lynchings were all too common during the era of slavery. However, not only were their bodies treated so harshly, but their minds and souls were as well....   [tags: The Narrative of Frederick Douglass]

Better Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

The Life Of A Slave Girl And Frederick Douglass Essays

- The issue of Slavery in the South was an unresolved issue in the United States during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. During these years, the south kept having slavery, even though most states had slavery abolished. Due to the fact that slaves were treated as inferior, they did not have the same rights and their chances of becoming an educated person were almost impossible. However, some information about slavery, from the slaves’ point of view, has been saved. In this essay, we are comparing two different books that show us what being a slave actually was....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Better Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Slave Narrative Literary Analysis Essay

- Prior to the publication of any slave narrative, African Americans had been represented by early historians’ interpretations of their race and culture. Commonly accepted gender roles are a product of the biological and social evolution of humankind and are polarized between masculine and feminine expressions. These roles have been universally adapted and historically assigned to individuals based on gender. The collective acceptance of individual gender roles has fashioned them into a lens through which all human experience is filtered down to the individual....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Better Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

Dreams in Song of Solomon, Narrative Frederick Douglass, Life of a Slave Girl, and Push

- Dreams in Song of Solomon, Narrative of Frederick Douglass, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Push   In 1776 it was stated that our country was based upon one simple truth, "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Though stated with a poetic justice, this statement did not hold true for all U.S. citizens. Many citizens were held in captivity, versus freedom, unable to pursue those "inalienable rights." After two hundred years of inequality, Martin Luther King, Jr., would provide one of the most vocal positions regarding the lack of equal rights owed...   [tags: compare and contrast essay examples]

Better Essays
2195 words (6.3 pages)

Analysis of Frederick Douglas' "Narrative of a Slave" Essay

- In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass establishes for us the many factors that lead to the continual enslavement of the black race by connecting his own plight to that of other slaves as a plea for the abolition of slavery. The evil of slavery infected every master to pervert the truth to his own satisfaction and Douglass explains how slavery corrupts the humanity of both slave and master. The legal system was also not an option for slaves to turn to for help because they had no legal rights....   [tags: American Literature]

Better Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)