In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave. Through Douglass’s use of figurative language, diction and repetition he emphasizes the cruelty he experiences thus allowing readers to under-stand his feelings of happiness, fear and isolation upon escaping slavery. Figurative language allocates emotions such as excitement, dread and seclusion. As a slave you have no rights, identity or home. Escaping slavery is the only hope of establishing a sense of self and humanity.
The most notable account of this separated was faced by a female slave that Northup encounters by the name of Eliza. Northup writes about the disregarding of the white slave traders towards the suffering of the mother and intense emotion of grief that Eliza displayed at the auction block when she realized that she was being separated from her children. As Northup noted, All the time the trade was going on, Eliza was crying aloud, and wringing her hands. She besought the man not to buy her child, unless he also bought herself and her other small child. She promised, in that case, to be the most faithful slave that ever lived.
Both of these writers felt responsible to inform their white readership of the hardships slavery had on not only them but on other slaves. For example, Olaudah Equiano experienced being taken away by white people from his country. He even found himself wishing to be back at his former slavery in preference of his “present situation”. He states, “...I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, not had I the least desire to taste anything. I now wished for the last friend, death to relieve me..”(130).
Around the turn of the 20th century, the Lost Generation was born. They came of age during World War I and as a whole became disillusioned and lost their naivety due to the senseless slaughter they saw in the war. In Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Morrison explores the harmful effects of slavery on not only the escaped slaves, but on there children, who are often overlooked. Denver is the protagonist of the story, she is the daughter of Sethe, an escaped slave who is terrified of her past demons returning. Because of her fears, Sethe shelters Denver to an extreme degree.
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl discusses how slavery dehumanizes and breaks down an individual to no worth. Douglass’ and Jacobs’ accounts are similar because they lecture against slavery with the work and obstacles they went through. Jacobs says, “For years, my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood. The influences of slavery had the same effect on me that they had on other young girls; they had made me prematurely knowing, concerning the evil ways of the world.” (827) Jacobs explains that slavery has attempted to take a toll on her life with its physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Women in slavery were mistreated sexually as well, and in this case, Jacobs faced sexual oppression at a young age.
The Hardships of Frederick Douglass The few scars on Frederick Douglass’ back told a story. A story that is cruel, inhumane, and unfaithful to mankind. Douglass had been through many difficult points during his life. In particularly, he had an early separation with his mother, he was sent away from his remaining family to work for Hugh Auld, he was taught illegally how to read and write, and he was sent to a new owner who was considered a “slave breaker”. Also, he had tried to escape with other slaves but failed.
In this dark world, how do we find our purpose and who we are? Antoinette, without his biological father, grew up surrounded by racial tensions and violence. Her family was known to be a family of slave-owners. Due to this, people hated them. Experiencing a lot of things, Antoinette’s life has been challenged greatly.
It also reminds us of Jean Toomer’s Cane which shows us the gray shades of lynching. The nineteenth century Georgia is very cruel to those men who desire or demand equal and adequate space in the social set-up. Just one incident of Celie’s father being lynched, deteriorates both the daughter’s lives. The madwoman (Celie’s mother) in her attic loses her sensibility, her grace and her respect because her husband was lynched. Even in a much modernized society like Georgia, woman is idealized as the mother of the human race yet she is abused, beaten and exploited, threatened and thrown, casted and “outcasted, and later called as disgrace and
Killing or lynching of unwanted slaves, mistreatment, torture, segregation, cultural uprooting, disorientation and dislocation were some of the “natural” faith of the slaves. Slaves who survived the inhuman treatments, face their daily lives with “indelible stain” of slavery, indignity, segregated and marginalized and cultural alienation. All these put together, one is faced with a psychological load of permanent lack of identity, consciousness of color and indeed nostalgia for the lost homeland, from where they have been uprooted. Up till today, many former slaves in different parts of the world still bear the blunt scars of slavery, which is difficult - if not impossible - to
Armand suspects his wife and child were of African blood. Armand lost his love for them both and felt resentment towards them. The audience assumes as well that Desiree's background had caught up to her and is now naturally being punished because her assumed black heritage in the racist South. What the audience later finds is that ironically the baby looks the way it does not because of Desiree but because of Armand. Desiree is found abandoned by her unknown parents as a baby, a wealthy white couple finds her and adopts her