Narrative Of The Life Of Frederic Douglass And Everyday Use By Alice Walker

781 Words 4 Pages
The liberation from the oppression is never enough to heal the wounds inflicted by it and sometimes the recovery takes decades, even centuries. “Learning to read and write”, the excerpt from “Narrative of the life of Frederic Douglass” is autobiographical story of the slave since childhood, who is fighting his way to freedom through the intellectual development, and the “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is the story of African-American family, decedents of the slaves, who are living more than a hundred years after Douglass, and who are, despite being formally free and equal to the white people, still discriminated and disadvantaged. The issue of racial oppression and common history of it makes Douglass character and Walker’s characters similar, …show more content…
However, in “Everyday use” this is the conflict of the points of view of the main character and her oldest daughter, in Frederic Douglass story it is the inner conflict, he hesitates to make decision to run off from slavery: “I often found myself regretting my own existence, and wishing myself dead; and but for the hope of being free, I have no doubt but that I should have killed myself, or done something for which I should have been killed…
They both advised me to run away to the North; that I should find friends there, and that I should be free. I pretended not to be interested in what they said, and treated them as if I did not understand them; for I feared they might be treacherous…nevertheless remembered their advice, and from that time I resolved to run away. I looked forward to a time at which it would be safe for me to escape. I was too young to think of doing so immediately” (Douglass,
…show more content…
Though we can characterize both, “Learning to read and write” and “Everyday Use” characters as working class, their attitudes towards this part of their identity differ. Douglass sees education and intellectual labor as a direction for self-development and the way to overcome inequality. But through the perspective of Walker’s main character we can see appreciation of manual labor and skills. It’s worth a note, that this character is a woman, and this appreciation also reflects on the issue of gender equality. She highlights the fact, that she is equivalent to a man in the terms of skills “In real life I’m a large, big boned woman with rough, man-working hands…I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man”. (Walker,

Related Documents