Up from Slavery

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Annika1993
Words 1536
Pages 7
An Analysis of “Up from Slavery”

In the autobiography “Up from Slavery”, Brooke T. Washington describes his early life as a slave and at the end he tells about his speech at the Atlanta Exposition. Washington grows up on a plantation in Virginia with his mother, brother and sister. He does not know much about his father besides that he is white and lives on another plantation. He talks about his “not especially cruel” owners and the unknown history of his ancestry. Washington lives in the plantation kitchen where his mother works as the plantation cook. In the first chapter he describes the place he lives in and duties he has to fulfill as a slave. Further on he talks about education and about how the life as slave during war is. He also reveals the feelings of slaves toward whites, the hopes of Afro-Americans and how the feelings and difficulties after being free.
How does Washington create such a lively and reliable description of the life as a slave in the story “Up from Slavery”?
Autobiographies are always written in first-point of view and should not be confused with a standard biography that is written in third-person by “authors who knew the subjects well or by people who have thoroughly researched the lives of the characters” (Hammond). Through the first-point of view lives are captured in a direct way.
“Up from Slavery” is an autobiography, since Washington tells about his own life, and therefore uses the first-point of view. Washington is privileged to write about slavery since he was one himself. Through his experiences on a plantation he can give his audience first-hand insights of a life as a slave.
Writing in first point of view has advantages and disadvantages. Stories told in the first person are quite subjective. In an autobiography the author is simultaneously the narrator and therefore the subject of the story. Readers see…...

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