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Comparing The Slavery Of Frederick Douglass And Harriot Jacobs

Decent Essays
Giselle Cervantes
Professor Baughn
History 11
23 October 2017 Slave Narratives Slavery was something cruel and unhuman that many of our brothers and sisters endured. For many years colored men, woman, and children did not have much to live with. The description of the two different narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriot Jacobs are quite distinct, yet so alike in through their experiences as slaves. A similarity between Douglass and Jacobs narratives was that they both described their childhood and horrible things they had to witness, which lead to the loss of innocence at a young age. At the beginning of Douglass he tells us that children are typically taken away from their mothers at a young age. They only saw each other at
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Douglass was young when he found his identity through his escape from Baltimore to Massachusetts. Jacobs, on the other hand, became trapped in her community, family, and domesticity. She was “domestic” where she worked, as well as a slave with children. Jacobs expressed, "Slavery is bad for men but it is far more terrible for women." Jacobs’s narrative was explicit and frightening for herself and for the woman of her time because of the involvement with her master’s forced sexual interactions. Jacobs’s narrative is the sexual exploitation that she and all other woman who were slaves at the time had to face and endure. In comparison to Douglass, Jacobs was determined to fight for her freedom. Although, Douglass showed his audience “how a slave became a man” by being in a physical fight with a superior, Jacobs’s gender demonstrated a different perspective. She was pregnant with the child of a white man when she was fifteen and believed that it would encourage her master to sell her and her child. Once she was became mother with “ties to life,” her concern for her children had taken over her own self-interest. Throughout Jacobs narrative, she is not only looking for freedom but a home to protect her children.
The impact of gender roles on their attempt to gain freedom was similar. Jacobs spent a lot of her time as a slave fighting for freedom by being “domestic” and protecting her children because
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