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The Legendary Abolitionist And Fictional Lady - Essay Example

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The essay "The Legendary Abolitionist And Fictional Lady" deals with the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass and a fictional young lady named Francie Coffin. Besides, born more than a hundred years apart, at first glance one would think they would have very little in common with one another.
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The Legendary Abolitionist And Fictional Lady

Download file to see previous pages... More than eighty years later, Francie Coffin is the protagonist of Daddy was a number runner by Louise Meriwether. Set in the Depression-era ghettos of Harlem in the 1930’s, Francie is a young (12 years old) girl who helps her father in his business, numbers running. Prior to the state lotteries, the gangsters had one going and the runners picked up the bets from the customers. Meanwhile, the novel explores every facet of gritty New York street life. She is trying her best in school and gets brilliant marks but outside of its comfortable environments, she has to deal with such horrible realities as the perverted old men who try to molest her and bullies and street gangs who abuse her. All around Francie is abject poverty and brave and proud but beaten people. Finally, her family is forced to go on relief. In the novel, one sentence is almost a mirror of modern times when Francie’s mother tells her “Elizabeth's coming back home today with her kids and Robert. Their furniture got put out on the street." Elizabeth was her sister. Yet she and Douglass share one thing in common, their fierce determination that no matter what their circumstances, their lives would eventually be much better. For example, Douglass made a New Year’s Resolution in 1836 that he would be a free man that year. It actually took another two years but the point is his vow came true for him due to his willpower. As he said, “I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master”....
Prior to the state lotteries, the gangsters had one going and the runners picked up the bets from the customers. Meanwhile the novel explores every facet of gritty New York street life. She is trying her best in school and gets brilliant marks but outside of its comfortable environments, she has to deal with such horrible realities as the perverted old men who try to molest her and bullies and street gangs who abuse her. All around Francie is abject poverty and brave and proud but beaten people. Finally, her family is forced to go on relief (welfare). In the novel one sentence is almost a mirror of modern times when Francie’s mother tells her “Elizabeth's coming back home today with her kids and Robert. Their furniture got put out in the street." Elizabeth was her sister (Meriwether). Yet she and Douglass share one thing in common, their fierce determination that no matter what their circumstances, their lives would eventually be much better. For example, Douglass made a New Year’s Resolution in 1836 that he would be a free man that year. It actually took another two years but the point is his vow came true for him due to his willpower. As he said, “I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master” (Douglass II). Likewise, Francie Coffin makes a vow to never pickled herring again, for evidently that was one of the staples of relief handouts. Whether she made good on her promise was never revealed, for the novel ended only a year later with her father departing. WORKS CITED Douglass, Frederick, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave”, Web, November 27, 2012. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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