While they are both slave narratives, they are written from the perspectives of different genders, bringing two very different experiences. Both narratives appeal to pathos, but Douglass’ is more realistic and appealing, whereas Jacobs’ is overdone and almost petty. Both of these narratives have a strong appeal to pathos. This is very common throughout slave narratives because the purpose of them is to make the reader feel what they felt and sympathize with them. The audiences for these narratives at the time were abolitionists, with the purpose of calling them to action to abolish slavery.
Even women who were freeborn could not choose their husbands because that decision was left for her family to make. The lack of ability for a woman to make her own decisions contributed to the ambiguity between enslavement and being freeborn. Clifford, the son of Pa Palaganda, was known for having sexual relations with his female slaves. As Clifford became fond of his slave Ojebeta, he started to view her as a potential wife because she could read, write her name, sew, and cook civilized food. When Clifford disclosed his thoughts of one day marrying Ojebeta he simply told her what would transpire in a fairly non demanding way.
In the novel, Celie starts of as an abused, submissive wife, but is transformed into a confident and independent black woman, which goes against the ‘traditional’ values of that time. The male dominance in the novel is portrayed in several ways, sexual aggression being the main one. The novel itself is set between 1900-1940, in rural Georgia, where males often had power over their wives and children. The men were expected to control their wives and show superiority, this was commonly shown amongst the black community. Due to the daily humiliation faced by the ‘black man’ from the white people, the black men turned their frustration towards their women by beating them.
Once married, all of her inheritance (if any existed), would belong to her husband as well as anything else she owned including her own body. Not only was this upheld by the laws during those times, but the marriage vows were inclusive of the command of the wife to obey her husband. Divorce was very rarely allowed and if a woman attempted to escape an unhappy marriage, she could be captured by the law and punished. (WordPress, ) Both Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, are written during this era and criticize the male dominated society by demonstrating the negative impact that it had on women during that timeframe. Both women in these stories are symbolically the same character because of the inordinate oppression that they were both experiencing and their passionate, unrelenting desire for freedom.
Jada M. Barnes Dr. Harrington ENGL 220-01 15 September 2014 Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas The incidents displayed in Harriet Jacobs’s and Frederick Douglass's narratives were similar and yet different. Both Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglas were slaves during the 1800’s and their upbringings symbolized the harsh treatment that many slaves experienced during that era. Harriet Jacobs was a house slave while Frederick Douglas worked on a plantation and in the fields. Harriet Jacobs was pretty much comfortable with her life as a house slave while each day Frederick Douglas dreaded everyday he lived. While their childhood was very much different they shared one dream in common, they both wanted freedom.
The rights of African American Women before the 1920s were in few. They were sold to Englishmen by their own kind without any second thought. Nettie, Celie’s sister, perceived first hand just how much these people didn’t care during her mission trip to Africa. These people were made in to slaves having to do house work, field work, and even care for the children of the owners. These women were given no respect whatsoever and were constantly raped due to that.
In 1981, however, Jean Fagan Yellin discovered Jacobs's correspondence with Child, and with another abolitionist friend, Amy Post. The letters, along with the rest of Yellin's research, assured the authenticity of Jacobs's narrative; and since thenIncidents has received its due critical attention. Modern criticism has focused largely on Jacobs's exploitation of the sentimental domestic genre and on the differences between Jacobs's work and slave narratives such as Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845). Biographical Information Jacobs was born a slave in North Carolina. Her parents were both slaves, but her grandmother had been emancipated and owned her own home, earning a living as a baker.
Women in colonial Latin America experienced constraints based on their gender as well. Although the type of prejudices that women had to confront depended on their background, all women were made subject o patriarchy in colonial Latin America. African women who were brought to the Americas as slaves often worked as house keepers in the houses of white people. Many white men had extramarital affairs and used the African maids working in their houses as mistresses. The sexual relationship forced on the African women is illustrative of the “unhealthy institution which [smothered] all sense of decency in women” (Children of God’s Fire, p. 140).
During the nineteenth century women were considered inferior and expected to be submissive to men; their place is meant to be in the home raising the children and managing the plantation. Stowe considers housekeeping as one of the most essential duties of 19th century women: they have an obligation to govern their staff, manage household finances, and create a “heaven” for their families. Although the "separate spheres" philosophy is limiting because it confined women to the home, it also provides a model for a woman run government that separates from slavery. It is a disgrace for a woman to interfere in the place of men, or the workforce, as it is believed to be only for men. A key example of this would be Mrs. Shelby.
Desensitization of the White Person Slavery in the United States was so successful for so long because the slave owners kept the African American slaves ignorant, uneducated and without a family to call their own. In Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass points out that slavery not only desensitized slaves, but also the white slave owners. Douglass illustrates this through the evolution of Mrs. Auld. In chapter V when Douglass first meets Mrs. Auld, she is depicted as a “white face beaming with the most kindly emotions” (page29). As the “Narrative” continues, so does Mrs. Auld’s transformation.