Slave Narrative Critique

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“Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”: Annotated Bibliography Burnham, Michelle. “Loopholes of Resistance: Harriet Jacobs ' Slave Narrative and the Critique of Agency in Foucault.” Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory 49.2 (1993): 53-73. Print. In the article Burnham analyzes the loopholes of resistance and retreat not only in Harriet Jacobs ' Slave Narrative but also compares those elements and components to those used in the work of Foucault showing the philosophic background in the writing. The author evaluates specific individual subjects through the analysis of institutional structures and the impact of the surrounding environment on individuals. The behavior, actions and decisions of Harriet…show more content…
Foreman also focuses on the hidden and revealed meanings and topics in the slave narrative comparing it to another writing “Our Nig”. Thus, the author casts light on the literary tradition and genres of Afro-American women either living through the issues of slavery and related problems or witnessing those problems finding expression in their literary works. Foreman shows the parallel between Wilson and Jacobs, as well as other female authors of that period of time using different themes in their works and mostly showing the weakness and despair of women. Jacobs shows the inner strength and power of women who continue struggling with problems and challenges in their life hoping for the better and happier future, and this makes her different from other Afro-American women in the literary field. Foreman identifies the common aspects of slave narratives written by different authors, as that genre usually “combine elements of history, autobiography and fiction” (Foreman 314). Usually women tell their personal stories and suffering, conflicts and challenges experienced in the context of some historic events helping the readers to get involved into the context and understand the topics and meanings revealed in the writing. Such narratives help revealing the truth about the treatment of the black population attracting much attention to the problem and acting as a call for…show more content…
This book casts light not only on the meaning of the narrative but also on its impact on the community and acceptance of slavery in general. Frintrop stated that it was much more than “a typical antebellum slave narrative since it can be characterized as a public document which provides an insight into the spirit, psyche and history of an African American slave woman who fights for an antislavery reform” (Frintrop 2). The author identified many topics covered in the narrative, including the cultural discrimination and violent treatment of blacks by white Americans, the domination of white culture in the community, the suffering of women during slavery, and so on. Harriet Jacobs was the first black woman who was not afraid of describing slavery as it was in reality showing the challenges for female slaves and their treatment by white masters. Frintrop also focuses on the cult of true womanhood mostly linked to upper class, white women increasing the gap between poor blacks and white women in the community. The community created specific standards proving people 's status and behavior, and this only promoted the growth of slavery worsening the relationships between blacks and
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