Taking a Look at Slave Narratives

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Discussion and Analysis

Slave narratives offered valuable information about slavery because slave narratives were experienced by slaves themselves so they documented their life and recorded their experience under slavery; they revealed their daily life, their thoughts, their values, their fears, their struggles, and their efforts to obtain freedom. Reading slave narratives helped the readers to realize the idea that slaves were real human beings who were as properties that could be bought, sold, and owned by others. Thus, readers would be able to learn more about the cruel nature of slavery, the relationship between slaves and their masters, the relationship between slaves and their families, their techniques and strategies which they used to escape, their personalities, and their culture. These narratives gave voice and granted right to generations of African American to narrate their stories from different perspectives, some of them described slavery from the viewpoint of black women, some of them described slavery from the viewpoint of a black men who was born a slave and later escaped to the North, and some of them described slavery from the viewpoint of free men who were kidnapped and sold as slaves. The structure of slave narratives in the antebellum usually began with information about slave’s birth and childhood to establish an identity and to prove to the readers that they were normal human beings, but
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