Gendered Views of Slavery with Examples of Two Books - Book Report/Review Example

The paper "Gendered Views of Slavery with Examples of Two Books" discusses that Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl underlines the hard lot of the slave woman and shows the options for resistance and escape. In this book, abolitionist and pro-slavery forces clash and tensions culminate as the slaves …
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Gendered Views of Slavery with Examples of Two Books
Download file to see previous pages Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs highlights the woman’s peculiar experience and exploitation, whereas Eric Foner’s Voices of Freedom cites the historical account of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave presents slavery through the eyes of the Black American slave. Both these biographies are true slave narratives, detailing the horrors of slavery specific to each gender, the coping mechanisms of slaves to survive and preserve their identities, culture and lives. As Christians, African slaves in America point to the so-called religion of the White man against him, seeing that such blatant contradictions existed between word and practice. Black slaves resort to making stirring appeals to the tenets of Christianity, the so-called White mans religion. Frederick Douglass is one of them who refers to the values of Christian love and the inconsistency in White slaveholders-the cruellest of men. Douglass wields the Holy Bible which instructs Christians in defence of human rights, equality, justice and brotherhood. Repeatedly Douglass alludes to the Holy Scriptures rebuking the slaveholders as “scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites” (Matthew 23:13-16). Using the same religion which justified enslavement, Douglass turns the White man’s philosophy on its heels. To add force to his arguments, he quotes numerous scriptural texts from the Bible. Douglass understands that Gods unconditional love is impartial and likewise, all who claim to follow the tenets of love must adopt those unbiased standards.
Jacobs does likewise in her slave narrative, extracting principles of Christianity and using it against her would-be masters. She characterizes her masters as those who “send the Bible to the heathen abroad and neglect the heathen at home” (Jacobs 113). Here Jacobs employs satire and irony for she knows that the so-called savage heathens would notice the disparity between Christian America’s slave institution and the doctrines of Christianity. Her observation serves to paint ridiculous the actions of slaveholders who profess one thing but do the opposite.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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