The Classic Slave Narrative Analysis

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The Stories Must Be Told
The establishment of slavery in the early years of America is one of the most documented systems of the abuse of human rights in history. The Classic Slave Narratives is a book compiled of four extremely powerful stories of individuals who survived the enslavement in Colonial America. The book written by American educator and scholar, Henry Lewis, Gates, Jr. reminds the reader that while the founders of this country were fighting off the British and writing about their freedoms, there were other men taking care of the upkeep of their farm and cleaning their houses. It also shows that even though different slaves were in different conditions, all slaves wanted the same idea: the desire to be free. In the book’s introduction,
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Frederick Douglass was born to a slave mother and a white father, his story examines his hunt to gain literacy. In his early childhood, he realized that learning to read was going to be the key in order to break free of slavery. When he would be out in the city doing his chores, he would bring bread and give it to local white boys, hoping they would teach him lessons to expand his literacy. “This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge.” (Gates, p. 368) Douglass would later become one of the greatest speakers on behalf of the African American population. In his movement for equal rights, he coined the phrase, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do …show more content…
Jacobs was given the alias, Linda Brent, who was sexually harassed and raped by her master, Dr. Flint for nearly a decade. During this time, Flint did not allow her to marry anyone or even come in contact with any males. If she even tried, she was beaten and thrashed vigorously. “O, what days and nights of fear and sorrow that man caused me!” (Gates, p. 472) After the passage of the thirteenth amendment which abolished slavery, many other slave women expressed their stories of being raped by their slave masters, something that happened far too often in the salve era.
After reading these four narratives, we must take the time to think to ourselves, what do we take away from these stories as a modern society? Such as other events in American History, slavery hits close to home for many people. This is why at first when these four narratives along with other slave stories were published, they were ignored. Simply, because it was too painful for people to read the stories, especially if they were slaves themselves. For example, Jacobs’ story was particularly avoided, because of its sexual

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