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Douglas and Stowe’s work to examine some of the individual differences in experiences with slavery

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Comparing Douglas and Stowe's Works.
  3. Christianity.
  4. The Impact of Slavery on the Individual.
  5. Responses to Abuse.
  6. Conclusion.

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. [...]


[...] Covey had been hired to break Douglas, the impact of the abuse had the opposite impact on Douglas: long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing (p. [...]

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