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Frederick Douglass and Harriet Ann Jacobs

This question is regarding Frederick Douglass's "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave" (CHAPTERS 7 -10) and "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Ann Jacobs (SECTIONS 1-3 and 5 only) (link to story can be found at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11030).

1) Taking into account both Douglass' and Jacobs' stories, what are the implications of gender on the experience of slavery?

2) Is it plausible that reader reactions to the two stories are influenced by the author's gender? How?

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1) As you assess the implications of gender on the experience of slavery, Douglass' experience with literacy is different as a male since he asserts, "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out" (p. 55). Because of the gender differences in education at the time, you might draw a parallel here.

I also feel that because of men's superiority to women physically in terms of sheer size and strength, the ironic comparison of slaves to livestock is more of a prevalent theme in his narrative: "At this moment [valuation of the property], I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and slaveholder" (p. 60).

Again, because he is a male, the nature of slavery in the physical ...

Solution Summary

Frederick Douglass and Harriet Ann Jacobs are correlated in terms of theme and racial implications.