ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Abolishing Slavery Through Literature

Updated on December 12, 2012

Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe were both very passionate about ending slavery. They showed this passion and tried to persuade others by writing extremely moving pieces of literature. Both Douglass and Stowe focused their writings to grab the attention of white Northerners. Their writings connected readers through personable characters and having faith in their religion.


Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the best pieces of anti-slavery literature. Stowe has numerous characters that white Northern women could relate to and sympathize for. This was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s target. She wanted Northern white women to be against slavery so that they could persuade their husbands to feel the same way towards slavery. Stowe also focused on religion and how slavery was not morally right for the white people to ignore.


The main character of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Uncle Tom, was the most powerful persuader. Uncle Tom was religious and he made white people question their Christianity. The slaves were given terrible lives but yet still praised God and thanked him for the tiny things in their lives that were good. “Ah! Would that they did not also bear along a more fearful freight,--the tears of the oppressed, the sighs of the helpless, the bitter prayers of poor, ignorant hearts to an unknown Good—unknown, unseen and silent, but who will yet “come out of his place to save all the poor of the earth!”” (Stowe 1751.) This quote makes the white reader question how they can pray for such trivial things when African Americans are being treated in such a terrible way but yet still trust their faith in God.


Stowe also pulled at women’s feelings by telling the readers about the truth of being sold. Families would be separated from one another when they were bought and sold. The story of the slave Lucy and the loss of her baby is one story in particular that would affect white women. Mr. Haley took Lucy’s baby and sold it while she was sleeping. Lucy’s reaction to finding that her child had been taken is heart wrenching. “But the woman did not scream. The shot had passed too straight and direct throught the hear, for cry or tear. Dizzily she sat down. Her slack hands fell lifeless by her side. Her eyes looked straight forward, but she saw nothing.” (Stowe, 1741-1742.) Shortly after learning that her child had been sold, Lucy killed herself. Any woman who has a child would be devastated to learn that these types of actions were actually taking place in the South.


Frederick Douglass, like Harriet Beecher Stowe also persuaded white Northerners with the use of religion. In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass tell of how the Master whipped his Aunt Hester after she had been caught with a man. “Had he been a man of put morals himself he might have been thought interested in protectin the innocence of my aunt; but those who knew him will not suspect him of any suck virture.” (Douglass, 2074.) This quote shows that he was not looking out for Aunt Hester’s morals; he was just simply whipping her because she was a slave. This made the slave owner look like a terrible human being to the eyes of the white Northerners who were not educated about slavery. Douglass also questions his faith when he ask, “Is there any God? Why am I a slave?” (Douglass, 2100). This makes the white reader realize that the treatment of slaves is so terrible that they question God for their punishment.


Both Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass used religion and family to attract the reader to be against slavery. Their goal was to convince the white reader to help abolish slavery because they either felt sympathy for the slaves or because it was morally against their religion. These efforts worked for many white Northerners who were unfamiliar with the truth of Southern slavery. Stowe and Douglass wrote powerful pieces of literature that impacted white Northerners to become abolitionists.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • claudiafox profile image

      claudiafox 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Moving! And poor Frederick Douglass grew up alone; as a slave; he never knew his parents. He found an escape route through learning. He owned only one book as a young man; a book of speeches. He gained noble high-toned style from that one book.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)