Critically reviewing the historical monographs that have been produced during the time of slavery, it is evident that both The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas by Frederick Douglas and Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe are among the most notable works to have been produced during this time period. Although each of these texts deals extensively with the issue of slavery, what is perhaps most interesting about these texts is that they address the "peculiar institution" of slavery in notably different ways. What this effectively suggests about slavery is that while the institution was a shared experience among African Americans in the South, individual accounts of slavery demonstrate that specific encounters with slavery provide significantly different analyses.With the realization that the experiences of slavery encountered by individual slaves are notably different, there is a clear impetus to examine this issue. To this end, this investigation utilizes both Douglas and Stowe's work to examine some of the individual differences in experiences with slavery. Through a careful comparison of the two texts, it will be possible to demonstrate that even though slavery had a profound impact on the African American community as a whole, the experiences of individuals involved in slavery are quite different overall.
[...] However, when this depiction of slaves is placed in the context of what Douglas notes about his own passive aggressive behavior, it is evident that the slaves were able to create an illusion of laziness and incompetence quite successfully. Douglas was not an incompetent or stupid man. However, in his efforts to impede production on the plantation were successful, not just because they actually worked, but also because slave owners truly came to believe that slaves were not capable of being productive. [...]
[...] This leads Douglas to conclude that there are two types of Christianity: “Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ” (p. 101). Douglas goes on to decry the Christianity of this land as the most vile and debasing of all religions: love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land” (p. 101). Douglas believes that the type of Christianity that has encompassed the land will only serve to further ignite the cruelty of slave owners and create terrible misery for all slaves. [...]
[...] Christianity A careful review of both Douglas and Stowe's work reveals a very different conceptualization of Christianity in the context of slavery. Considering first Douglas' narrative, it is evident that Douglas believes that Christianity is used by slave owners to justify both the decision to own slaves and cruelty used to bring slaves into submission. Specifically, Douglas examines the conversion of his master, Captain Auld. According to Douglas in 1832, Captain Auld attended a Methodist camp meeting in which he experienced religion for the first time. [...]
[...] However, because of his education, Douglas only became more resolved to challenge the institution of slavery and fight for his freedom. Stowe, in her examination of the physical abuse that was endured by the slaves, demonstrates that the physical brutality that slaves endured had a detrimental impact on their psychological state as well. However, in Stowe's novel the impact of the abuse on the psychological status of the slaves has the intended impact: creating fear. To illustrate this point, one only needs to consider what Stowe writes about the binding nature of the slaves. [...]
[...] Responses to Abuse In spite of the fact that both Douglas and Stowe chronicle different psychological responses to the act of physical violence, both authors note some similarities when it comes to the overt reactions that were expressed by slaves in response to continued abuse. For example, Douglas notes that oftentimes, he would let his master's horse run away. In his text he reports that, he would allow his master's horse to run five miles away to his mater's father-in-law's house. [...]
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