Frederick Douglass And Mary Prince

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Narratives by fugitive slaves before the Civil war are necessary to help our understanding of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of American history and literature. These slave narratives acted as sources, telling of the experiences from the point of view of those who lived through slavery as slaves themselves. Written primarily in the 1840s and 1850s, slave narratives revealed the struggles that southern slaves faced such as poor living conditions, working conditions, and excessive punishment and abuse. Two former slaves that addressed these concerns in their narratives were Frederick Douglass and Mary Prince. In their narratives, they share the hardships faced as well as the effect they had on their physical and emotional well-beings.
In his narrative, Frederick Douglass dedicates large parts of his narrative to explain the perception that a slave is made at birth. Such is the case when he talks about his mother. When Douglass was born, his master immediately separated him from his mother. The purpose of this was to take away the bond that would be made between mother and child. By doing this, it makes it seem natural that blacks were to be born into slavery. Douglass however finds this to be unnatural, explaining that slave owners mislead slaves into thinking they are not among men and are to be treated in a different manner. In “Chapter I” of his narrative, Douglass says of being separated from his mother, “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her
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