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. When the reader involves him/herself in the experience, the reader encounters what is known and felt by the narrator. The encounter may provide the reader an opportunity to explore a time and place long past.
Reading the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, one identifies a period when the slave's voice begins to emerge. Douglass and Jacobs emerge during the American Renaissance period. During this period, society struggles with the abolishment of slavery and women's rights. Douglass and Jacobs' narratives awaken society to the atrocities of slavery confirmed by their personal experiences. The American Renaissance, distinguished as an intellectual and artistic period, now includes, among others, Douglass and Jacobs brutal historical accounts. Douglass and Jacobs' narrative presence represents the voice slaves who desire freedom from bondage.
In Trudy Mercer's "Representative Woman: Harriet Jacobs and the Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," she suggests both narratives work as propaganda:
The slave narratives of pre-Civil War America may exemplify the earliest and most dramatic uses of the "personal as political," and the sharing of experiences ...
... middle of paper ...
... the Autobiographies of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs." Melus. 22.4 (Winter 1997): 91-108. 16 April 2002
Douglass, Frederick. "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Laughter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 1871-1880.
Jacobs, Harriet Ann. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. 1962-1985.
McFreely, William S. Frederick Douglass. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.
Mercer, Trudy. Harriet Ann Jacobs Author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. "Representative Woman: Harriet Jacobs and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." 16 April 2002.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- O th sin th white folks `mitted when they made th bible lie. You're lucky that my people Are stronger than yo' evil, Or yo' ass, would `a got the heave-ho. Ice Cube, The Predator Frederick Douglass certainly knew that his narrative might be taken by many of his readers as a conscious rejection of Christian faith. Accordingly, he informs his readers that the inclusion of an Appendix at the end of his tale should be seen as an attempt to "remove the liability of such misapprehension" from their thoughts.... [tags: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass]
2295 words (6.6 pages)
- Comparing Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Invisible Man The Black Revolution has occurred for quite some time and in many different ways, the most prominent being in literature. Two primary examples of the struggle and yearn for change among African Americans include Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, the autobiography of Frederick Douglass and Invisible Man, a novel written by Ralph Ellison. Although both have the same foundation, the difficult task of being black and trying to make something of one's life, many important differences exist between these works.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
670 words (1.9 pages)
- This essay will be looking into the ways that the documentary form and narrative cinema have impacted and influenced each other. The documentary text chosen, Louis Theroux: Behind Bars (2008) depicts the life of prison inmates within America’s infamous San Quentin State Prison. Theroux speaks to serial murderers, gang members, at-risk inmates and guards whilst questioning their sentence alongside their feelings about life within prison. Similarly, the narrative text chosen Carandiru (2003) looks into the life of fictional inmates within the Brazilian Carandiru Penitentiary, a factual prison with its climax based on the 1992 police attack.... [tags: Film, Narrative, Cinema of the United States]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- Many school children celebrate a cliché Thanksgiving tradition in class where they play Indians and Pilgrims, and some children engage in the play of Cowboys vs. Indians. It is known that some died when colonization occurred, that some fought the United States government, and that they can be boiled down to just another school mascot. This is what many people understand of the original inhabitants of America. Historical knowledge of these people has been shallow and stereotyped. The past 150 years has given birth to a literate people now able to record their past, present, and future.... [tags: American History, Oral Tradition]
1821 words (5.2 pages)
- Personal Narrative: Cultural Perspective What is culture. Culture is the idea of what is wrong or right, the concept of what is acceptable within our society. Culture serves us as a guide, taking us to the "right way" and helping us to make sense of things that surrounds us. There are many different cultures around the world. A lot of them are similar in specific ways and others are just completely different, this difference explains why we think that people from different backgrounds are "weird".... [tags: Papers]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- “Time to Ban Surrogate Motherhood,” written by Lynda Hurst and “Surrogate Motherhood: Why it Should Be Permitted,” written by Allan C. Hutchinson, are persuasive texts where the authors’ attempts to influence the audience to agree with their side of the argument on surrogate motherhood. According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, surrogate motherhood is defined as, “a woman who bears a child for another person, often for pay, either through artificial insemination or by carrying until birth another woman's surgically implanted fertilized egg.” Since the persuasive works are published in different newspapers, one being The Toronto Star and the other being The Glob... [tags: Surrogate Motherhood, ]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- Justin Mason English III Honors Mrs. Wood October 9, 2014 William Bradford and Jonathan Edwards: Comparing and Contrasting “Religion is the backbone of evolution.” Without the cultural differences and belief systems we would not have a regulated religious base. It is evident some religions can be both alike but yet still very different. The historical William Bradford and Jonathan Edwards demonstrate this theory. William Bradford portrays more leniencies while allowing for more religious tolerance within the puritan community.... [tags: Religion, Faith, Plymouth Colony]
771 words (2.2 pages)
- Comparing Gothic Elements in Fall of the House of Usher, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ligeia, and American Slave Gothic literature has a number of conventions, including evils of horror, present of light and dark, suggestions of the supernatural, and dark and exotic localities such as castles and crumbling mansions (American). Violence in gothic literature never occurs just for the sake of violence; there is always a moral dilemma (Clarke 209). By going the extremes, a gothic author is able to accentuate a contrast allowing the author's point to be made more easily.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
2662 words (7.6 pages)
- Comparing Documentaries: 9/11 and September Mourning The ways in which the codes and conventions are used the documentaries are that many of them have an interviewer this is sometimes either an invisible interviewer or the interviewer is present and is can be picked out by the audience. Also the camera work differs. The two documentaries I will be concentrating on will be '9/11' by the 'Naudet brothers' (9/11, Naudet Brothers, 2002, Fr/US) '9/11'was released by 21st Century Fox, it was released as a film.... [tags: Papers]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- A Dream Revised in Song of Solomon, Push, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl America was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." However, a question must be posed which asks who constitutes "men" and what is "equal". Where do women fit into the picture. What about minorities. The Declaration of Independence serves as the framework for rules that govern the people who fall beneath it, but who were the architects of the infamous work. They were white, upper class, men.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2968 words (8.5 pages)
- The Aging Process in Katherine Mansfield's Miss Brill
- An Analysis of Characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
- The Role of Unfulfilled Expectations in E. A. Robinson's Richard Cory
- Movie Essays - Loncraine's Film Production of Shakespeare's Richard III
- Analyzing Themes in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken
- Money Obsession in David Herbert Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner