Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin And Olaudah

1728 WordsDec 13, 20157 Pages
Sydney Sanders Ms. Johnson American Literature 2301-60 December 1, 2015 American Slave Literature Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative of his Life both endeavor to stir antislavery sentiment in predominantly white, proslavery readers. Each author uses a variety of literary tactics to persuade audiences that slavery is inhumane. Equiano uses vivid imagery and inserts personal experience to appeal to audiences, believing that a first-hand account of the varying traumas slaves encounter would affect change. Stowe relies on emotional connection between the readers and characters in her novel. By forcing her audience to have empathy for characters, thus forcing readers to confront the harsh realities of slavery, Stowe has the more effective approach to encouraging abolitionist sentiment in white readers. When looking at a full version of Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative, the reader is immediately presented with an image of Equiano holding a Bible open to Acts. Equiano later explains his religious beliefs in chapter 10 of the Narrative. This has often been interpreted as a plot for Equiano to gain the trust of readers, who at this point in time placed high value in religion, however Professor Eileen Elrod views this as interpretation as dismissal of Equiano’s Christianity as a result of assimilation to the Western world. Elrod notes, “if we take the facile view that he is simply using religion to manipulate readers, or we see him as simply
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