Compare And Contrast Frederick Douglass And The Awakening

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There are several evident distinguishments between Frederick Douglass’s The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. Douglass’s narrative is an autobiography while Chopin’s novel, on the other hand, is classified by realistic fiction. Both incorporate intricate structural, technical, and rhetorical choices in order to effectively convey a struggle against society. However, attributed to their different literary genres and subjects, they hold significantly more differences concerning how these stylistic aspects affect the portrayal of the story. It is essential to recognize how neither text is superior in terms of the effectiveness of the author’s choices in conveying a message; rather, the methodologies used…show more content…
This perspective effectively communicates key events of Douglass’ life through a manner in which a contemporary audience can empathize. He provides graphic and tragic descriptions of what he witnessed with little restraint, such as when how Colonel Lloyd brutally whipped his Aunt Hester; “I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending streaks… [he would] whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood,” (Douglass, I). He explains his emotional outlook concerning what occurs around him, which gives valuable insight into his own thoughts and beliefs as it is a primary source. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin applies a third person omniscient point-of-view to the story. At times, it is completely objective and provides a narration of simple character actions and exposition details, such as when the narrator states, “Mr. Pontellier had prepared for bed… He opened a bottle of wine, of which he kept a small and select supply in a buffet of his own,” (Chopin, XII). These descriptions, given by an all-knowing perspective, clearly depict who does what and where it occurs. On the other hand, other sections reveal Edna’s thoughts and desires; “There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why,— when it did not seem worthwhile... to be alive or dead,” (Chopin, XIX). The differences within point-of-view affect characterization and insight in contrastive manners. In Douglass’s narrative, it is more direct because the narrative is told from his own experiences, which makes it more straightforward in seeing what Douglass went through. In The Awakening, the POV still reflects Edna’s desires, but Chopin’s choice to tell her story through a third person perspective limits a personal expression of Mrs. Pontellier’s character. Nevertheless, this point-of-view works to Kate Chopin’s advantage text because it reveals other characters’
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