Slave Narratives as Protest Writing AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts.

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Transcript of Slave Narratives as Protest Writing AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts.

  • Slide 1
  • Slave Narratives as Protest Writing AS/HUMA 1300 Faculty of Arts
  • Slide 2
  • Course Outline: Slave narratives as protest writing 1.The Abolitionist Movement 2. Slave Narratives as Autobiography 3. Function of Narratives 4. Characteristics of Narratives 5. Gender and Slave Narratives
  • Slide 3
  • Abolitionist Movements British Caribbean 1770s-1830s; British anti-slavery activists lobbying British Parliament; Paternalistic Christianity. United States 1830s-1870; Evangelical religious movements of the 1830s; Active participation of northern blacks and ex-slaves.
  • Slide 4
  • Autobiography... autobiography must be understood as a recollective/narrative act in which the writer, from a certain point in his lifethe presentlooks back over the events of that life and recounts them in such a way as to show how history has led to this present state of being. (James Olney, Autobiography)
  • Slide 5
  • 5 Functions of Slave Narratives 1. To document the conditions of or truth about slavery 2. To encourage the abolition of slavery 3. To provide religious inspiration 4. To assert the narrators personhood 5. To challenge stereotypes about blacks
  • Slide 6
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr.... The black slaves narrative came to be a communal utterance, a collective tale, rather than merely an individuals autobiography. Each slave author, in writing about his or her personal lifes experiences, simultaneously wrote on behalf of millions of silent slaves still held captive... All blacks would be judgedon their character, integrity, intelligence, manners and morals and their claim to warrant emancipationon this published evidence produced by one of their number. (Classic Slave Narratives 2)
  • Slide 7
  • 8 Characteristics of Slave Narratives 1. A preface as authenticating material or testimony 2. First sentence begins: I was born... 3. Details of the first observed whipping 4. An account of a hardworking slave who refuses to be whipped 5. Details of the quest for literacy 6. Account of a slave auction 7. Description of attempts to escape 8. Appendix of documentary material
  • Slide 8
  • Mythological Pattern of Slave Narratives 1. Loss of innocence 2. Realization of alternatives to bondage and resolve to be free 3. Escape 4. Freedom obtained
  • Slide 9
  • Frederick Douglass It was a new and special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with which my youthful understanding had struggled in vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficultyto wit, the white mans power to enslave the black man. It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly. From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom. (Classic Slave Narratives 364)