The Representation of Violence. A Comparison between Frederick Douglass` Slave Narrative and Richard Wright’s Autobiography “Black Boy”

Örs Kurucz

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft

Beschreibung

Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2015 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Frankfurt (Main) (Institut für England- und Amerikastudien), language: English, abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to illuminate the manner in which violence is represented in two significant Afro-American autobiographies, Frederick Douglass` Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (hereafter shortened as Narrative) and Richard Wright`s Black Boy. As Afro-American autobiography has always been a “mirror” to U.S. society, it will be interesting to see how these autobiographies taken from different periods of American history deal with the race-oriented problem of “violence”. As we will see, the very first Afro-American autobiographies, so-called slave narratives, already included representations of violence that documented the atrocities that black people had to endure. Remarkably, Richard Wright`s Black Boy shares many textual features of the slave narratives, such as the escape from the South after a traumatizing experience of violence.

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Schlagwörter

Slavery, Autobiography, Coming of Age, Frederick Douglass, Afro-American Identity, Jim Crow, Violence, Black Boy, Richard Wright, Slave Narrative