Race & Dehumanization in the Slave Narrative Genre

Anders Emil Christensen Sanvig & Frederik Roland Andersen

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


Through the thematic analysis of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, this study examines how the slave narrative genre was used to expose slavery in antebellum American. This is done by investigating the relationship between race and dehumanization in Douglass’ narrative and by looking at how Nick Haslam’s model of dehumanization can explain the way that Douglass sought to show the humanity of the African American race:
Firstly, Douglass’ narrative, and the slave narrative genre as a whole, was meant as a tool to depict the physical and mental suffering of the African American race while also being a platform on which Douglas, and any other slave, could demonstrate their humanity. Secondly, Haslam’s theory about human uniqueness and nature, which defines what it means to have human characteristics, correlates to what Douglass is aspiring to demonstrate through writing a slave narrative. Thirdly, dehumanization strengthens racism, as it can be used to effectively bring to life all the worst perceptions of a group of people by subjecting them to such an atrocity as slavery. Fourth and finally, the relationship between race and dehumanization, in antebellum America, was a downward spiralling phenomenon which abolitionists sought to reverse through the use of the slave narrative genre.

UddannelserEngelsk, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2017
Antal sider30
VejledereKimberly Renée Chopin