Slave Narrative Essay
The slave narrative has many elements that help to define the genre. They are found in spirituals, editorials, autobiographies, etc. Three key elements are the rebellion of slaves, humanitarianism, and the cruelty of the slave owners emphasized.
All slaves were treated wrongfully in many ways. They were beaten, whipped, starved, and talked down upon. There wasn’t anything that they could do, but take the whipping. Not many slaves had the courage to stand up for what they believed in. But the few that did would fight back against their masters or run away. This is evident in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass when Frederick Douglass described when he escaped from his master. “After his encounter with the two …show more content…
Another element was how they would emphasize the cruelty of the slave masters in the slave narratives. Many accounts go in to detail of many of the things the masters did. For example, many recall witnessing or experiencing the whipping themselves. "'It is better that a dozen slaves suffer under the lash, than that the overseer should be convicted, in the presence of the slaves, of having been at fault” is saying how the slaves would be whipped to make the master look good or so that the master wouldn’t be under scrutiny from others. All of the white man’s sense of control and power was from the whip itself, not them. “No matter whether the slave girl be as black as ebony or as fair as her mistress. In either case, there is no shadow of law to protect her from insult, from violence, or even from death; all these are inflicted by fiends who bear the shape of men.” She explains how the white man could do whatever he wanted to the slave women and get away with it. It was only a crime to sexually assault a white woman.
All of these elements are heavily present in most slave narrative literary works. These elements add to the genre because they captivate the reader with the detail that is