Fredrick Douglas And Harriet Jacobs Essay

1804 words - 7 pages

During the 1800s, slaves received treatment comparable to that of livestock. They were mere possessions of white men stripped of almost every last bit of humanity in them. African-Americans were constricted to this state of mind by their owners vicious treatment, but also the practice of keeping them uneducated. Keeping the slaves illiterate hindered them from understanding the world around them. Slave owners knew this. The slaves who were able to read and write always rebelled more against their masters. Frederick Douglass, author of "A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," and Harriet Jacobs, author of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," were prime examples. Both slaves had been taught how read and write at a young age, and both gained their freedom by escaping to the northern states. What they had learned also helped them stay free while in the northern states after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which left no slave truly free. The literate slaves thought with a more free mind and developed a sense of self-identity and denied the identity of a slave. Literate slaves caught on to the immorality and injustice of slavery on black people. Another problem slave owners had with literate slaves was the potential for them to educate other slaves and give them thoughts of escaping or helping other slaves escape. Frederick Douglas and Harriet Jacobs both wrote of this in their books.
Douglass was separated from his mother at an early age in order to prevent any feelings of attachment to her. His father was a white man, he might have been the man responsible for separating him from his mother. As a young child on the plantation, Douglass was exposed to the abuse of slave women received from their masters. This began the shaping of Douglass' mind against the institution. Around age seven or eight, Douglass was sent to Baltimore to be a servant for his original master's son-in-law's brother, Hugh Auld. Douglass' cousin told him the city was beautiful and Douglass knew it couldn't be any worse than the plantation. When Douglass meets his new owners, he described Hugh Auld's wife, Sophia Auld, as having a kindly face. Douglass learned what might have been one of his biggest lessons as a slave from these overseers. Sophia, the wife of Hugh Auld, had never owned a slave before, therefore she treated him almost as if he were a child of hers. She taught him the alphabet and some other minor words before Hugh took notice of what she was doing. Mr. Auld told his wife "…it is unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read." (Douglass, p.78) Hugh goes on to say "A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master… 'if you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever make him unfit to be a slave.'" (Douglass, p.78) Douglass overheard every word that hissed out of Hugh Auld's mouth. Sophia Auld had been lessoned in the ways of slave managing now. She discontinued her teaching to...

Find Another Essay On Fredrick Douglas And Harriet Jacobs

The Classic Slave Narratives: Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano

2403 words - 10 pages The book The Classic Slave Narratives is a collection of narratives that includes the historical enslavement experiences in the lives of the former slaves Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, and Olaudah Equiano. They all find ways to advocate for themselves to protect them from some of the horrors of slavery, such as sexual abuse, verbal abuse, imprisonment, beatings, torturing, killings and the nonexistence of civil rights as Americans or

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Harriet Ann Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1370 words - 5 pages within ourselves. Even leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. had tactics that he would practice when in front of national leaders, and those which he incorporated into his daily and personal life as a means to remain strong. We can observe this “micro-level resistance” to relevant injustices through the lives of individuals such as portrayed in two novels: Kate Chopin’s fictional work, The Awakening, and Harriet Ann Jacobs’ slave narrative and

"The Tormentors and Their Influences" Anzia Yezierska. Bread Givers. Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

1259 words - 5 pages have driven their underlings away from them to search for a feeling of freedom. When Linda and Sara escaped these men the burdens on their life some what diminished. They now not only have the right of choice, but most importantly the right of opportunity and that is something that I believe anyone and everyone deserves.Works CitedAnzia Yezierska. Bread Givers. New York: Persea Books, 1999.Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Be Thee Passionate With Long Wind or Quick Discourse: A Comparative Analysis of the Slave Narratives by Siblings Harriet and John S. Jacobs

1223 words - 5 pages more than the ordering of opinions. This is certainly the case when comparing the slave narratives of siblings, Harriet and John S. Jacobs. Upon initial observation of the texts the reader will notice that there is a clear distinction between the two; length. The narrative of and by Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is much longer than John S. Jacobs’, “A True Tale of Slavery.” What does this mean? Perhaps, it

What it Means to Be Free

1327 words - 6 pages , and practice whatever religion one may want without consequences. The list of what it was like to be free goes on and on. All of these qualities of being free still hold true today. Many of those who were not free spoke out against the oppression they were facing. Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Jacobs were two African American writers whose pursuit for freedom caught the eye of many Americans. These two writers attacked what Americans in the

Frederick Douglass and Benjamin Franklin

1697 words - 7 pages spearheaded the fight for America’s independence. Fredrick Douglas, on the other hand, treads through an almost similar path Franklin passed through. He was in early 1817 on one of the plantations of Maryland. The identity of Douglas’s father and exact date of birth is not well known, but it is assumed to be a white man from a family who owned his mother. Harriet Bailey originally named his son Fredrick Bailey but, unfortunately, he parted with his

Selfdom in Slavedom

1734 words - 7 pages of Equiano’s life, Baltimore had around 13,000 people. Just 50 years later, in 1840, around when Fredrick Douglass spent a significant amount of time there, Baltimore had more than 100,000 people. This huge change enabled slaves like Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs to develop a unique identity that is not seen with Equiano. While all three protagonists manage to escape slavery, Douglass and Jacobs do so by running to cities while Equiano is

The Path to Aboliton

1626 words - 7 pages spiritual and mental aspects of slavery, rather than the cruel and physical punishments he and many others endured. In The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas he writes, “My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!” In one sense the narrative is the

Jacobs & Douglass: An Insight Into The Experience of The American Slave

1189 words - 5 pages The slave narratives of the ante-bellum time period have come across numerous types of themes. Much of the work concentrates on the underlining ideas beneath the stories. In the narratives, fugitives and ex-slaves appealed to the humanity they shared with their readers during these times, men being lynched and marked all over and women being the subject of grueling rapes. "The slave narrative of Frederick Douglas" and "Harriet Jacobs: Incidents

Slavery Injustice Male versus Female

1239 words - 5 pages Allyce Braddy HIST 226-112-American History I Professor Steven Garabedian May 2, 2014 Slavery Injustice Male versus Female Harriet Jacobs author of “Incidents of a Slave Girl” depicted the life of a women enslaved to white planation owners between the years 1819-1842. Harriet Jacobs escaped for enslavement and went on to become a pivotal figure for the African American culture with tales of cruelty from her owners and her need for freedom

Harriet Jacobs The Life of A Slave Girl book review

863 words - 3 pages In order for one to truly understand the essence and view for an autobiographical narrative, the author must be extremely personal and honest regardless of their relationship with the public. As a slave girl, Harriet Jacobs found this task very difficult. She had to contend with an audience that offered no support or compassion for women in her position." I had no motive for secrecy on my own account."(1) This motivation sparked controversy

Similar Essays

Slavery: Harriet Jacobs And Frederick Douglas

1015 words - 4 pages Men and Women’s treatment has been different as long as the two have been around to notice the difference. Even in the realm of slavery women and men were not treated the same although both were treated in horrible ways. Harriet Jacobs and Fredrick Douglass’ story is very similar both were born into slavery and later rose above the oppression to become molders of minds. In time of subjugation to African Americans these two writers rose up and

The Life And Times Of Harriet Jacobs And Hatsuyo Nakamura

1405 words - 6 pages How lucky were we to be born under the circumstances which we were? How blessed are we to live in the current conditions in which we live? All too often these are questions that are not pondered, but are aspects of life that are taken for granted. Harriet Jacobs and Hatsuyo Nakamura lived lives under conditions we cannot begin to imagine or even comprehend the realities they faced with each new day. Harriet and Hatsuyo were two strong willed

Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl And Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig

2056 words - 8 pages has to stand on her own two feet and protect her virginity from villainous men. She is often portrayed as a damsel in distress, and in the end a courageous man saves her. They get married and have a perfect happily-ever-after. In Harriet Jacobs’ slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Harriet Wilson’s autobiographical novel, Our Nig, both African-American authors incorporate the idea of the sentimental novel into their stories

Failures And Problems Within Slave Owning Religion As Presented By Frederick Douglass And Harriet Jacobs

2016 words - 8 pages Chase ClarkMay 5th 2014FAILURES AND PROBLEMS WITHIN SLAVE OWNING RELIGION AS PRESENTED BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS AND HARRIET JACOBSIn Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl the theme of Religion is incredibly important. However, it is the interpretation of the slave owner's behavior and mentality by the authors that enlightens us into the problems that existed within