This essay is concerned with slavery and other issues related in the southern parts of the United States of America. In order to analyze the situation, the essay draws its arguments from two sources written by the people who undergo slavery in the hands of their white masters. The first analysis is drawn from a book entitled ‘Slavery in Georgia’ which is a collection of narratives talking about the life, sufferings, and escape of John Brown who is a former slave living in England at the moment. The second source of information is an autobiography written by Booker .T. Washington entitled ‘The story of My Life and Birth’.
The narrative of John Brown talks about a slave who, after being subjected to a lot of suffering by his master in the United States of America decides to move away to England where he wants to go and start his life a fresh away from slavery.
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The Autobiography written by Booker T. Washington concentrates on his early life, where he narrates the life that his family leads at the hands of a white master who subjects them to slavery, and how at the end of the day they manage to move out of slavery and begin a new life where they manage to prosper and achieve substantial thing in life. The main concern of this essay is to analyze the slavery situation in the southern parts of the United States of America, and come up with effects and the kind of life that blacks undergoes due to slavery; the question that the essay answers are how slavery undermines the lives of blacks and how beneficial it is to move out of slavery.
The two sources of information used are relevant in the sense that they are both written by people who are former slaves and are in a better position to tell the world what it feels like to be a slave. Both authors, John Brown and Booker T. Washington is victims of slavery in the southern regions and all suffers in the hands of the white masters who treat them like animals without according them any form of dignity as human beings. The two texts bring to the attention of the world how worse it is to stay in the southern parts of America especially if you are a black person; that you must expect to serve as a slave and be subjected to cruelty and other forms of inhuman treatment.
John Brown says that he always has to serve his master for long a time each day in order to be able to earn his living. His mastered Cartor Stevens is not willing to let him go since he values him most and is ready to cling on him as long as he can so that he can continue serving him. He is a times beaten up when his master feels that he is not serving him to his expectations, due to constant mistreatments, he sneaks out on many occasions and ends up staying out for several days before he gets back in anticipation that his master will be more considerate and maybe treat him well.
Washington says that he is born to a mother who is a slave, , and this means that life is exceedingly unbearable for them as they struggle to earn a living by working for their master. His mother is a kind woman who wants her children to get the best out of life and offers to support them as she can despite the slavery. He grows in to adulthood in this condition and is forced to adapt to this lifestyle as he has no other option. As he grows up a bit the theme of child labor is depicted in that despite his age, he is forced to drive the hors to further places and make sure that he gets the work done.
His family at times goes without food, and his mother is forced to steal eggs and chicken from her master in order to feed her family and ensure that they do not go without food. This situation continues until it reaches time where the slaves decide to come up with campaigns that lead to their freedom. Their master one day calls all the slaves and their families to his house and declares that every slave is from that period free.
John Brown is convinced that life in England is better off and makes a significant step of moving out of slavery to go to a place where he is going to be free in order to restart his life again. On his way, he comes across Posey who is a white man who volunteers to help him to secure an original passport that would enable him to travel to his destination.
To Brown’s surprise, Posey turns out to be a terrible friend who betrays him; he lands into trouble where he is forced to sneak in order to become a freeman again. What is depicted here is the fact that white expects blacks to serve them as slaves and goes ahead to treat them as their personal property. Brown says “if they put me there, and sent for my master he would pay them for catching me, but he would have to give the jailers his fees; but if they kept me safe somewhere, and sent for Stevens to fetch me away, they might get more out of him, on account of the trouble that would be saved him getting me out of jail”.
The statement above portrays slavery in that Brown is viewed as a property of Stevenson and fellow white men would rather keep him in prison than let him run away from Stevens; it is like Brown is owned by his master. Booker T. Washington quotes, “when I grew to be stronger the duty of going to the mill was entrusted to me; that is a large containing three, or four bushels of corn was thrown across the back of the horse, and I would ride away to the mill which was often three or four miles distant…”; this portrays a kind of child labor embedded in slavery.
Washington brings out the theme of illiteracy when he says’ There was not a single slave on our plantation who could read a line…’ That portrays the fact that the slaves cannot be allowed to go school but just to take part in the activities assigned to them by their masters. Brown brings out the theme of violation of human rights and harassment when he says,’ In order to fasten me up, some workmen had been employed to cut a hole in the wall and secure my chain…’ This means that those slaves who try to escape are treated like criminals and subjected to inhuman treatment.
It can be observed that both Brown and Washington are subjected to slavery in the southern parts of America, and as a result, both of them try to find a clear way out of this mess as much as they can. They find it hard to escape especially Brown , but Washington and other slaves are able to achieve freedom.