The Views and Lifestyles of Slaves During Slavery Throughout the history of world there have been many documented cases
of oppression and violence that one country or one race has forces
upon another. Although the notion of slavery is thought to be gone
from today's world, there are still numerous countries that force
individuals to work against their will for little or no rewards. A
massive area to studying and view slavery took place in the United
States from the early seventieth century up to the American civil war,
which ended slavery, in the middle nineteenth century. The driving
force behind slavery was the demand for cheap labour, and the slave
owners and slave traders were determined to obtain it. The
exploitation of their slaves, which were to be from Africa, was a huge
business throughout North America. The business that was so profitable
for the slave owners and slave traders played havoc for the slaves
from Africa as families were divided and relationships were broken.
After slavery was abolished it was not easily forgotten and the
discrimination of the black population would stop in some areas of the
United States. The hate and anger from oppressing white minority would
continue and would expand into different areas and social groups well
to present day. With information taken from Harriet Jacobs's Incidents
in the Life of a Slave Girl and a narrative Memories of Childhood's
Slavery Days written by Annie L. Burton this paper will examine the
life styles and views that slaves possessed during slavery and what
life was like for them after gaining their freedom.
The literature that was covered, in both the novel and narrative, gave
great insight to the situation that slaves were faced with. To a
further extent the material provided not only a slave's view but both
pieces of material were from a woman's perspective. The following
critique will deal with the two pieces of literature and examine the
content of both.
The work by Jacobs details the life a young black girl who in the
early stages of her life, although being a slave, was not subjected to
the cruel treatment from her owner as so many other slaves would be.
Her compassion for her owner is a rarity, as for most slaves the
relationship with their master's is one of complete obedience while
harboring anger within them. The following illustrates the feelings
that Linda, the young slave girl, had for her mistress "As I saw the
cheek grow paler, and the eye more glassy, how earnestly I prayed that
she might live! I loved her; for she had been like a mother to me."
Linda's life would change dramatically after the death of her
mistress; her life now would no longer be as joyful and happy as she
was to be...