Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas

1483 Words6 Pages
Both Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass’s narratives capture what it’s really like to be a slave in this time period. Harriet Jacob’s narrative was called the Incidents in the Life of a Salve Girl and Frederick Douglass’s narrative was called The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Like all other slave narratives, they show the hardships, accomplishments, and the living conditions that they had to live through each and every day. In these two narratives, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas shared many similarities and differences as slaves in three major categories such as the trauma they experienced, their desire for freedom, and their family experiences in life. Throughout both Harriet’s and Frederick’s life, they both had experienced very traumatic events. These events include physical and emotional punishment or abuse that they received. Although they experienced different types of punishments from their slave owners, it left both of them feeling embarrassed, vulnerable, and angry. Harriet received sexual harassment and emotional punishment from her owners at the young age of fifteen by Mr. Flint. He would show her naughty pictures, talk to her in a vulgar way, and eventually touch her physically. Harriet said, “When he told me that I was made for his use, made to obey his command in everything; that I was nothing but a slave.” (Jacobs, Chapter IV). This states that she was all Mr. Flints and that she had to obey everything he said. She basically was not in charge of her own body, and that Mr. Flint now was. For Frederick, he was physically punished by being woken up in the middle of the night and being whipped, starved of food, and being put out in the cold weather. He was also emotionally traumatized by having to witness his own family member get stripped naked and whipped. When he saw his Aunt Hester being whipped he wrote, “It

More about Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas

Open Document