Paper #1 - African American Literature"In Respect to...

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African American Literature “In Respect to Females…”: Differences in the Portrayals of Women by Male and Female Narrators There have been many slave narratives written after the individual writer’s freedom. They are written not only to promote anti-slavery, but also to tell of what slavery was really all about. Without these narratives, no one would know what really went on and what these slaves actually went through. The narratives published are mostly by male authors thus representing slavery mostly from a male’s perspective and because of this, the women’s perspectives are rarely heard and acknowledged. By reading this article, there really is a big difference in the way slavery, especially women, is presented. This article provides us with these differences and gives us examples of writings from both females and males. Men are often portrayed as heroes who have overcome and fought through slavery. They are treated with the utmost respect. Rarely are the women mentioned as noble as the men. From the male narrators perspectives, women are portrayed as “victims of illicit sexual intercourse and as childless mothers (66)”. The article goes on and gives us two reasons for this view of women. The first reason given is that, “the forced selling of children from slave mothers and the rape of slave women were frequent events (66)”. The second reason is simply the slave narratives. The way the women were treated is just a fact and can never be changed, but the way it is presented to the audience can be. Men fail to give the women any credit and always seem to mention them being raped and beaten. Men only bring out the bad things in the women that happened during slavery. Most people have these same perspectives as these men do because of the men dominating the slave narratives. It is said that the men writing these narratives were not deliberately trying to bring the slave women down and degrading them but it is merely the way things turned out. An excerpt from a narrative written by
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2008 for the course ENG 2120 taught by Professor Michaelwilson during the Spring '08 term at Appalachian State.

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Paper #1 - African American Literature"In Respect to...

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