Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In a Two-Story White House, North

Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, In a Two-Story White House, North

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For my final analysis paper I choose the novel "Our Nig...." or "Sketches from the Life of a free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North". To begin there is an on going debate of wether the book should be classified as a novel or a autobiographical narrative. At first I sided with the reading being a novel, but after reading the short history of Harriet Wilson I am crossed as to what she intended the book to be. I ultimately concluded it was written as a novel which Wilson drew from her own life experiences to tell the story of a young mulatto girl named Frado. Frado, who's story is one of preservation, shows constant struggle to survive she faces daily torturous consciences everyday under the indentured servitude of her masters the Bellmont family. Though out the novel there are a number of issues that arise worthy of discussion.
The first noted was the constant theme of abandonment and the nurture/nature aspect. Like Wilson, Frado is abandoned by her mother Mag, left on a farm in hopes the family would take her in. There after the many deaths accruing though out the novel leaving Frado the constant subject of abuse from Mrs. B and her daughter Mary. There are also three mother figures presented in the novel Mag, Mrs. Bellmont, and Aunt Abbey (Nab). While Mag and Mrs. B are perceived as the missing mother figures, they allow Frado to come of age independently were she embarks on a journey to womanhood seemingly alone if not for Aunt Abbey. Towards the middle of the novel, Aunt Abby is announced brought into the store line as the caring mother figure in Frado's life. Introducing religion as a guide to Frado. In turn Frado turns to her biblical studies as a replacement of the mother figure,the mother usually being the ...


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...t more with treats of future abandonment if Frado should ever leave her, she would not be permitted to come back.
Even after the research aspect of writing this paper I still can not decided wether to accept the book and an autobiography or novel. Due to the brief history of Harriet Wilson there are come similar instances where the life of Frado and Wilson cross paths. Although I do not know if the story was about her or not. Wilson did achieve the task of showing the horrible side of racism and the deception of those who would not be seen as anything but benevolent and sympathetic occupants of the north. She introduces the reader to the free black and the dominate a white culture. With a twist where she also indicates that shadow of grey in between the two which would be the characters who showed Frado some kind of remorse and or compassion towards her situation.

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