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 did great things especially with their writing. Both Douglass and Jacobs’ experienced different types of slavery, it shaped their perspective on everything and it also shows the importance of their freedom.
The story of Harriet Jacobs begins at North Carolina in 1813 she was born into slavery though she didn’t realize that she was a slave stating “I was born a slave; but I never knew it…”(Jacobs 1809-1829). Jacobs was with her mother until her death in 1819 then she lived with Margaret Horniblow, her mother’s mistress. Horniblow taught Jacobs to read, write, and sew then in 1825 she died and willed Jacobs to her five year old niece. Douglass born February, 1818 in Maryland was born into slavery than taken at a young age, from his mother to live with his maternal grandmother. At age seven he was sent with his master, Aaron Anthony, to Wye House plantation until Anthony’s death. Douglass was given to Lucretia Auld than to Auld’s brother in law, Hugh, in Baltimore. Auld’s wife taught Douglass alphabet. These similarities between the two are where the line is drawn after this the experiences they had with slavery were poles apart.
Douglass was taught the alphabet by his master’s wife he didn’t approve because “it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus ignorant.”(Douglass 2064-2128) Douglass self-taught himself to read and write and taught other slaves the same. In 1833 Douglass was sent to a “slave breaker” who flagellated him constantly in an effort to physically and mentally break him down. Finally after 6 months of working with covey in all kinds of weather conditions every day except Sunday, Douglass was “broken in body, soul, and spirit.”(Douglass 2064-2128) Douglass lost the will to do anything intellectually he was numbed expressively “my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died…” (Douglass 2064-2128). After enduring this treatment he tried to get protection from his former master and absconded to him. After this covey was set on beating Douglass to death and in a stable he tried where Douglass fought back and told covey “that he had used me like a brute for six months, and that I was determined to be used so no longer.”(Douglass 2064-2128) Only until Douglass seized this opportunity was he no longer subject to covey’s yoke of oppression. No longer bound his mind was free to soar and he was able to pen his autobiography in addition he was also an...

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