Analysis Of Sojouner Truth's Slave Narrative "Ar'nt I A Woman"?

644 words - 3 pages

Analysis of Sojourner Truth's Slave Narrative Ar'nt I a Woman?

Although Sojourner Truth never learned to read or write she still was able to contribute in the frantic fight for the civil rights of African Americans, in the south, and women, in the north. The narrative Ar'nt I a Woman was spoken by Truth at a women's

rights convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851. Truth gave her speech against the wishes of the convention's participants, and as a result captivated her audience with a powerful narrative that would flourish in African American history. After gaining her freedom, she changed her name from Isabella, to Sojourner Truth as representation of the new person she had become. She vowed to preach the "Truth" as God revealed it. Her powerful oration drew people into her speeches, and she challenged her listeners to live up to the ideals they claimed to embrace.

In Truth's narrative, tradition is clearly an identifiable element in how her speech was composed. There is definitely a dialect present in her spoken words that would represent the language of uneducated African Americans. However, this raises a question of whether this dialect was purposely transcribed as the words of Truth, because she was born in the north, which makes me think that she would have not had a southern dialect. She often referred back to her life as a slave discussing how she plowed and mowed which gives you another sense of the African American tradition in slavery. In slave narrative tradition there are always elements of pain, suffering, conflict, and struggle within the writings - all these elements are included in Truth's narrative.

To have voice means to be heard while speaking. A person without voice isn't heard while speaking, is without authority, and lacks respect from others. Notes within Truth's narrative made it evident that her audience listened to her, and even applauded throughout her oration. This respect from her audience gave...

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