In the novels Kindred by Octavia E. Butler and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the immorality of slavery is constantly critiqued. Twain and Butler use the people's hypocrisy, selfishness, and gullibility to both explain the prevalence of slavery and display why it was perpetuated by otherwise good people. In a society as contradictory as the antebellum south, neither author had a lack of hypocritical traditions and beliefs to draw from in their writing. The antebellum south was ripe with hypocrisy that ingrained selective immorality which was used to justify slavery. Butler displays a typical southern contradiction in Rufus's first formal proposition of Alice in which he gives her the illusion of choice even though they both know that Alice’s body is not her own anymore because Rufus “owns [her] now” (Butler, 167).
She wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” in an effort to open the public’s eyes to the unfairness of this treatment. By infusing Jane’s narrative with childish language and actions without ever actually calling “Jane” by her name, Gilman creates a universal experience any woman of the time could insert herself into. This allowed women to fully realize the injustice they faced. John’s belittlement of Jane also serves to create both a universal and eye opening experience for the women reading it. Additionally, for those who were willing to read into the symbolism, the nursery and the meaning underlying it added to the injustice Gilman conveys.
The idiosyncratic style Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass depicts the discriminatory actions of postcolonial slave owners in the southern United States, which reflects their greed for unpaid labor on their plantations. He employs the metaphor of the book that their masters prohibited them from owning by law throughout the memoir to demonstrate the avarice that drives white slave owners to turn a darker-skinned, intelligent being into a machine for personal benefit for centuries after the colonization of America. Also, the irony further displays the power of greed by expressing the slaveholder’s uncivilized method of forcing another human out of civilization. Furthermore, his use of a paradox of the use of pure religious beliefs to justify a slaveholder’s inhumane treatment reveals their rapacious actions that contradict the teachings of the church. In the narrative, the speaker, an African American slave recalls his removal from his family and denial to the right to learn to read and write
Langston Hughes uses images of oppression to reveal a deeper truth about the way minorities have been treated in America. He uses his poems to bring into question some of Walt Whitman’s poems that indirectly state that all things are great, that all persons are one people in America, which Hughes claims is false because of all the racist views and oppression that people face from the people America. This oppression is then used to keep the minorities from Walt Whitman in his poem, “Song of Myself”, talks about the connection between all people, how we are family and are brothers and sisters who all share common bonds. He says, “And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,/ And that all the men ever born are also my brothers,
A recurring theme for literature during this period was concerned with feelings of racial discrimination and animosity towards African Americans, and also showing solace and rising above this animosity. Additionally, literature promoted racial pride and Pan-Africanism and sought to break stereotypes. Authors during this era represented the “New Negro,” which referred to the concept of a well-educated and sophisticated black. Such authors included Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes, both of whom were poets during the Harlem Renaissance. However, unlike most writers, Countee Cullen’s literary works were not concerned with racial views of the time.
Simple things, such as enforcing hand washing or workers’ rights were unheard of in the working environment. It is clear that Upton Sinclair was trying to expose the worker’s horrendous labor conditions in order to improve their situation, along with the introduction of socialism. Upton Sinclair, in his novel, talks about how a Lithuanian immigrant by the name of Jurgis Rudkus, and his family, travel to Chicago trying to make ends meet. However, they soon realize Chicago was not the place for that. They take you on a journey full of dream-crushing brutality and deception of what seems to be the ideal place to work and built a life.
Like the poet, the dramatist must be “a creator of social values.” 12 Telling the truth by the medium of writing is seen as one of the essential requirements to achieve this task of creating a system of social beliefs and values. For Sanchez, writing supports her concerted efforts to continue her search for the black identity and the realization of this long-awaited dream, strongly affirming her eternal message that “I keep writing because I realize that until Black people’s social reality is free of oppression and exploitation, I will not be free to write as one who’s not oppressed or
“I aimed at the public’s heart and by accident I hit in the stomach” stated the international famous Upton Sinclair, after writing his most prominent novel, The Jungle. The word jungle is constantly associated with a wild environment full of undomesticated animals, but in this authentic novel, it refers to the unethical actions practiced during the gilded age. Sinclair’s main idea was to end all the unjust activities experienced during this time by writing and using the experience of his main character. Throughout the novel, the audience can perceive themes such as capitalism and socialism, historical events and symbolism. A great reason that this novel provoke a lot of scandal was by the cause of some objects or events representing more than what they really are.
This makes the characters more believable considering the time period they were in and the lack of education. Sinclair uses grotesque imagery about the killing of animals in factories which contribute to the purpose of pushing towards food safety. He does not use flowery language at all. He was trying to completely overturn the economy at this time and he did this
A logical explanation for Hughes pessimism throughout the poem is his need to fully emphasize on the power of racial oppression on African Americans. By revealing that the outcomes of a dream deferred are often negative, Hughes sheds light on the fact that black people in such positions are mostly rendered