Slavery was as much a part of life in the 1800’s as technology has become in today’s world. All the brutal beatings, mistreatment, and horrid conditions for the slaves was the norm in the past. Luckily, there were many significant historical reforms and changes made by the government to remove slavery in America. In, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, the reader is exposed to the slaves preception of slavery, through various anecdotes. Upon reading, one may ponder how slavery in America would be today, if it was never abolished.
Winifred Morgan’s article, “Gender-Related Difference in the Slave Narratives of Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass”, examines multiple fundamental differences between male and female slave narratives. Morgan says, “However, given the pervasive impact of the ‘social organization of the relationship between sexes’, gender influenced even the way in which bondage was experienced; men and women experienced it in different ways.” (n.pag) Women in slavery not only faced dehumanization, but sexual harassment and rape as well. A slave woman dealing with these aspects daily could break down their life into pieces and destroy their personhood for their whole life. Jacobs writes, “The remembrance fills me with sorrow and shame. It pains me to tell you the truth, and I will do it honestly, let it cost me what it may.
Through her statement on the impairment that internalized racism can do to the most vulnerable member of a community— Pecola; a young girl, Morrison jumps out of the tradition of African-American literature that “Portrays racism as a definite evil” (Eichelberger, 1999, p.59). Whiteness within this novel is said to be the symbol of goodness and innocence. The blacks in the novel are unhappy that they are not part of the dominant race. The main characters in this novel are marginalized people. Their status in the society causes them to feel subjugated.
The Spanish were the first to use African slaves in the New World on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola with the first African slaves arriving in Hispaniola in 1501. By 1750, slavery was established as a legal institution in all of the 13 colonies and contributed to almost five percent of the England 's revenues. The enslavement of humans and the denial of basic human rights to slaves has been the basis of several wars such as the Haitian revolution, the American Civil War and numerous slave rebellions in America. The main reason behind the American Civil War was, indeed, slavery. The Republican Party in America was determined to end slavery, whereas many leaders in the Southern states wanted slavery to continue or they threatened to secede from the Union.
the dualistic polarities about identity and culture are revised in the cooperative form of ‘both/and’. She “initiates new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration and contestation,” while revising the dualistic polarities about culture and identity cooperating them in the mutual form of ‘both/and’ (Bhabha 1). To explain more, Her condonation of Rochester’s calls “Bertha! Bertha” that define her as an English woman and her leap into fire where she sees the figure of Tia, her black Caribbean alter ego, should not be read as a movement towards her personal cancellation in which she seeks a complete identification with the black girl. Instead, it is an instance of rebirth in which Antoinette acknowledges her belonging to the Caribbean world and, thus, asserts her hybrid identity, embracing her in-betweeness and celebrating both parts, black and white, of her national identity.
It is of vital importance to record that mainly pure “African slaves”, Honychurch, L. (1980), were given the responsibility and tasks of field salves. This role was subjected to slaves of different ranks as a means of punishment. Slavery according to the Encyclopedia Britannica can be defined as a condition which exists whereby a human being is owned and held against their will by another. Slaves were forced to work without the expectation of being paid as we were being bought for many
It is the mother’s vulnerability to the racial standards of beauty that is transmitted to the daughter and ultimately leads to her victimization. In fact, the reason of Pauline’s vulnerability to the racially prejudiced notions of beauty lies in her relationship with her own mother. The relationship between Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist, and her mother, Pauline Breedlove, is ironically characterized by lack of love, and emotional attachment, indifference, frustration and cruelty. Set in a small town in Ohio, during the Depression, The Bluest Eye is the story of eleven year old Pecola Breedlove, who, victimized by the racist society, yearns for blue eyes, which, she believes, will make her worthy of love, happiness and acceptance in the
Toni Morrison in Beloved emphasizes Paul D’s weakness by humiliating him at the hands of so-called weak and restless women, contrasting to the patriarchal tendencies. But the question is wouldn’t men be agonized just as much the women when they are raped? Be it physical, mental. Rather than taking a stand on assault on men, it’s better for us to know what happens to the oppressing gender when oppressed by the society that they created. The idea of male rape is tabooed.
Slave narratives provide eloquent arguments against the inhumane practice of slavery and serve as crucial documentations of America’s reprehensible history. Frederick Douglass, a famous black abolitionist, fearlessly published his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass seven years after his escape from bondage. Douglass powerfully details the physical hardships of a male slave and the evils that occurred within slave plantations. Similarly, Harriet Jacobs–once free–published her narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Jacobs tackles the emotional tribulations inflicted upon herself and other women of color by their white masters.
The novel highlights the agony and suffocation experienced by the protagonist, Indu in a male-dominated and tradition-bound society. She finds herself alienated when she refuses to conform to the rigid code laid down by society. Marriage to the man of her choice brings only disillusionment when she finds her educated and ostensibly progressive-minded husband no different from the average Indian male. She is even contemptuous of herself when she realises that she has all along been unconsciously aping the model of the ideal Indian wife. The novel gains its feminist stance from Indu's persistent exploration of herself as an individual.