Oppression Of African American Women Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

Oppression Of African American Women Of A Slave Girl By Harriet Jacobs Essay

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Oppression of African American men and women in the United States is largely responsible for the well-known stereotype of white male owners in the late decades of slavery. Wide spread racial supremacy modeled character traits for both fictional and historical characters in American literary history. Mr. Gaudet from property by Valerie Martin and Dr. Flint from Incidents in the life of a slave girl by Harriet Jacobs share three main character traits typical of that for a white slave owner in America: unmerciful, domineering and amoral.
In the American Institute of slavery cruel and unjust punishment was a common reoccurrence that was welcomed by most white male owners. In American historic literature the acceptance of violence by male owners is shown through common unmerciful acts of violence; slaves were punished and tortured without any mercy on their behalf. Owners would use violence as a way to assert their racial supremacy on their slaves and often enjoyed their unmerciful tactics. Mr. Gaudet, a fictional character, is portrayed as a man with no mercy to show to his slaves, due to his lack humanity towards them, “My husband understood that Joel understood, which infuriated him. He pushed back his chair and followed Sarah and the screaming child, directing slaps at one and then the other.”(Martin 28). It is stated that Mrs. Gaudet’s father always told her that a man would never raise a voice to a slave in the public eye because it is not seen as gentlemanly, although in this particular occurrence Mr. Gaudet acts maliciously towards a slave and his own child in spite of anger. This incidence happened in front of company and not a word was later spoken of it because malicious acts of violence are a common occurrence for Mr. Gau...


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...f slavery as an institution.
Slavery in America shaped all aspects of culture, including literature, which is why many fictional characters of that time period have traits, which accurately represent that of historical figures. Mr. Gaudet and Dr. Flint have three shared traits that largely represent the typical mannerisms of white men that owned slaves in America, all three traits are a direct result of the cultural views that came along with the oppression of African American men and women. Understanding the importance of how cultural views influence the traits of the people in the culture is the key to learn from the past and move forward towards equality for everyone, without fear of oppression. The cultural and social views are learned and studied through historical and fictional works of literature that are so important to the development of our society today.

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