How Personal Values And Beliefs Influenced The Black American Slave Narrative

1572 Words7 Pages
How Personal Values and Beliefs Influenced the Black American Slave Narrative: “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” Compared.
Throughout the abolition movement, both men and women slaves were trying to escape from slavery, and find their way to freedom in the North. Many of wrote their stories down. Some with the aid of ghost writers, and often under pseudonyms to protect their safety. These slave narratives spoke of the sufferings of the slave experience in America (Campbell 1). Because black men and black woman experienced slavery differently, they wrote about them differently. Those differences can be seen in a comparison of Frederick Douglass’s, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845), and of Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself (1861).
Jacobs and Douglass have similar backgrounds. Both write of their experiences while enslaved, yet as their narratives are compared a distinction can be made between the core values and purposes between the two. Douglass’s audience is towards anyone who will listen, and underscores the brutal violence, and dehumanization of the American slave. Jacob’s views are more emotional and directed towards the upper class white woman whose sympathies she believes will align with her own as a mother and a woman.
Douglas writes, “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man” (Douglass).
Get Access