In This Section

Bookmark and Share

Short Essay Exercises

1.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Review the folktales of the Vernacular Tradition section of the anthology; then read A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. How does Douglass use the tropes and conventions of black vernacular folktales in his antebellum autobiography?
2.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Summarize Douglass's attitude toward antebellum spirituals as expressed in his 1845 Narrative. Does this attitude seem to change in his later autobiographical writings?
3.
fiogf49gjkf0d
What are the models for resistance in Douglass’s Narrative and how do they compare to those revealed in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Our Nig, and/or Behind the Scenes? Based on your reading, how might you compare the possibilities for resistance for men versus women?
4.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Explore the use of religion in Wheatley, Equiano, and Stewart. How do these writers envision their own faith? What is the relationship between religion and slavery for these writers compared to the relationship between the two described in the conclusion of Douglass’s Narrative?
5.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Consider how characters in antebellum narratives do what P. Gabrielle Foreman calls “passing through” whiteness on the way to a reaffirmation of their Black identity. You might think about this phenomenon in Jacobs and Craft, especially.
6.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Compare and contrast the versions of Africa that appear in Equiano and Venture Smith (and to a certain extent, Wheatley). Is Africa the same for each writer? How do their treatments of the African continent differ and why?
7.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Consider forms of female virtue in antebellum African American writing. What are some of the different ways that enslaved women might practice virtue given their particular circumstances? You might especially examine Keckley, Jacobs, Wilson, and Crafts.
8.
fiogf49gjkf0d
The slave/mistress relationship features prominently in The Bondwoman’s Narrative. What feelings and attitudes characterize that relationship for both Mrs. Wheeler and Hannah?

Submit to Gradebook:

First Name:
 
Last Name:
 
Your Email Address:
 
Your Professor's Email Address:
 
Section: