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American Literature from beginning to 1900

American Literature from beginning to 1900

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Published by Sudheep Rsy

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Published by: Sudheep Rsy on Oct 16, 2010
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BBL 3210 American Literature: Beginning to 1900BA English (exec) Trisem 9/2010
Question 1: Draw a comparison between
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
and
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass
. (10 marks)
The difference between The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass is depicted clearly when it comes to the matter of purpose of writing such anautobiography and the targeted people that the text intended to reach for. Benjamin Franklin’stext was merely for the purpose of explaining the people on how much he have done for the betterment of the society and him and the method on achieving those betterment in life. As weread through Benjamin Franklin’s text, he will focuses on of his neither 13 virtues whileFrederick Douglass didn’t have any specific principle nor virtues. Frederick portrayed thesufferings and hardship that slaves encounters in their live. Revolutionary thought is whatBenjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass have in common.The exception of them being the person who capable of doing some vital part in creatingthe self-improvement is also what is common among them. Benjamin’s text isn’t depicting thestruggle that he faced as what Frederick encounters. Frederick’s text is the explanation of howslavery is meant to be during those days and he clearly explains the life and death of a slave. Wealso got to know how an ex-slave (Frederick) managed to escaped his situation and becomeeducated and a successful orator. He suggests that education is the key fact to his success.Benjamin’s text in another hand focuses on how he managed to invent stuffs that beneficial tothe society and be successful person in his life with adhering to his 13 virtues. Benjamin’s textcan also become a self-guide book for the betterment of life of people.While Frederick’s text only explains the struggle that he faced when being a slave, howother slaves are treated and what should one do to escape such a situation. Frederick narrative is
Prepared by:Sudheep Ramasamy ( B10127)
 
BBL 3210 American Literature: Beginning to 1900BA English (exec) Trisem 9/2010
different than Benjamin’s in terms of the level of language fluency, interlanguage competent andemotional strength as Frederick uses slave narration that is different than Benjamin.
Prepared by:Sudheep Ramasamy ( B10127)
 
BBL 3210 American Literature: Beginning to 1900BA English (exec) Trisem 9/2010
Question 2: Draw Discuss the power relations between the slave and his master in
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
. (10 marks)
The power relation between the slaves and his master in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is depicted through the action by the masters towards their slaves. Themasters didn’t allow their slaves to have any clue regarding their age nor origin and parents. Thisis to show that the slaves need to depend on their masters for whatever they wanted. The slavesare not allowed by their masters to be educated because they are not counted as a human beingthat possesses the nature of caring or having any feeling such as sad, happy or joy. The mastersalso reminds their slaves on not to learn anything but only follow their masters. Slaves are notallowed to think of reason nor logic for their master’s action. The slave owners keep their power on their slaves by whipping at anytime. For example as in Chapter 10, “A mere look, word or motion, a mistake, accident or want of power, are all matters for which a slave may be whipped…forget to pull off his hat at the approach of white person, speak loudly when spoken to hismaster”. They (slave owners) always find something of this sort to justify the use of their lashand they seldom failed to embrace such opportunities. The power of owning a slave and theabsence of anyone who will question how they treat their slaves are the advantages that theowner has towards the slaves. The slaves are brought up without knowing how to rebel is another advantage towards the owners so that the slaves will not rebel when whipped.
Prepared by:Sudheep Ramasamy ( B10127)

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