The Female Slave Experience: An Analysis of Female Slave Narratives
This thesis critically analyzes the experience of female slaves on the basis of four female slave narratives. As such, the focus is on themes that especially concerned female slaves, such as rape, (physiological) abuse, and motherhood. Central in this thesis is Harriet Ann Jacobs’ well-known autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). Her work is compared to the following three narratives: Mary Prince’s The History of Mary Prince (1831), Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868) by Elizabeth Keckley, and Sojourner Truth’s Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave (1850). This comparison illustrates that apart from issues, such as racism, inequality, and discrimination, that both male and female slaves had to endure, female slaves also experienced sexual oppression, abuse, and the struggle of motherhood.
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