Frederick Douglass And Harriet Jacobs: American Slave Narrators

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Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs: American Slave Narrators
Being raised as slaves; both Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass devoted their professional life for telling their true story based on their own experience. As a matter of fact, their works “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” (1861) and “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” (1845) are considered the most important works in the genre of slave narrative or of enslavement. Thus, this paper will compare and contrast between Jacobs and Douglass in terms of the aforementioned works.
Losing their mothers and realizing their status as slaves at about the same age; Douglass and Jacobs’s feelings are different, for example, looking at the beginning of Jacobs’s
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That is, for Jacob, as a female slave, differed from Douglass who was a male slave. From Jacob 's perspective, “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” (933). This implies that slavery is so humiliating for human being, but not the same degree. To put it differently, it is even much worse to be a female slave than a male slave. A female slave had to endure a hard circumstance, including sexual harassment, physical abuses, and the separation from children. On the other hand, from Douglass 's standpoint, he thinks that even though slavery is such horrible thing, it makes him a real man through the hardship that he had to endure. He had to struggle and to rely on himself to get his freedom, he mentions, “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man” (1211). Here, Douglass explains how his life with Covey was a rock bottom, and then he demonstrates his combat with Covey as the watershed to change his life. The path of freedom is full of …show more content…
That is, for Jacob, she points to literacy in a very limited way, she states, “As child…my mistress taught me how to read and spell…” (924). Actually, for the most part, she emphasizes the womanliness by telling her story in terms of relationships. Ties and connection that bind her to her family and friend are the denominate theme in her text. In other words, she does not find as much power in literacy as in personal relationships. She believes in relationship-building with family members and close friends more than anything else. For Jacob, relationship-building is the most powerful weapon for her struggle. In contrast to Jacob, Douglass stresses the significance of reading and writing. He states “Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read” (1197). With this goal in his mind, Douglass realizes the secrets of power and control through literacy. “Literacy gave Douglass the power to assert his existence as well as his freedom from those who would keep him ignorant and a slave"(Morgan 77). In order for Douglass to put his place in the society, he realizes that knowledge represented power. He presents himself as someone who is "one of a kind" and at the same time "representative." Douglass presents himself as someone who, in order to break free from slavery, found sources of

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