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Writings by Stowe, Jacobs and Speeches by Lincoln

The writings by Stowe, Jacobs and the speeches by Lincoln greatly contribute to the understanding of America’s social environment especially during the dark slavery era. The writings by Stowe and Jacobs highlight the oppression and horrors that slaves underwent. In particular, the writings by Harriet Jacobs present readers with a first-hand experience of the exploitation and abuse that woman slaves underwent in the hand of their white owners. Lincoln speeches give readers a sense of the divisions that permeated the entire continent over freedom of Native Americans and slaves, and an understanding of the social iniquities that persisted in a society ironically founded on principles of freedom and equality (Brown, 1990).

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In her most widely-read book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Stowe exposes to the readers the injustices and horrors that Native Americans and slaves underwent. The novel shows readers how slavery resulted in destruction of family life, and ways in which it was antichristian. For instance in the novel, she says: “This is God’s curse on slavery! … a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing! …”. (Stowe, 2001, p. 36). Harriet Jacobs’ life mirrors that of other African American women who often had to endure sexual exploitation from their masters. In her novel “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, she gives readers a first-hand perspective of the sexual exploitation that African American women underwent. The story is a reflection of the life she lived – a life torn between remaining chaste and falling prey to her master’s sexual advances.

These writings are of great importance to the society today. The writings serve to remind people of the problems that can befall a nation that embraces racial discrimination – mostly conflicts and rebellions. Racial discrimination has remained a hot topic in the United States, although the government has instituted several measures such as grants in education to poor minority students to ensure equality. Racial discrimination results to hate and conflicts and hence must be avoided at all costs.

References

Brown, G. (1990). Domestic Individualism: Imagining Self in Nineteenth Century America.          Berkeley: University of California Press.

Stowe, H. B. (Eds.) (2001). Uncle Tom’s Cabin. New York, NY: Applewood Books.

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