Finding the Personal Voice in Literature Analytical Essay by Coolpower

Finding the Personal Voice in Literature
A review of five pieces of literature where the main character has to overcome being denied his own personal voice and then gaining it again.
# 26683 | 3,884 words | 1 source | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on May 12, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper discusses how people for all time have struggled to find their voice and their own individuality and how this is a theme prevalent in antebellum American literature. Through a review of different works, it shows how many times people cannot speak out because they are being denied the opportunity by superior powers, which is the case in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" by Frederick Douglass and "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs and ?Rip van Winkle? by Washington Irving. Other times it is the person?s own views of the world that prevent them from finding their own individual voice, as is the case in ?My Kinsman, Major Molineux? by Nathaniel Hawthorne and ?Bartleby, the Scrivener? by Herman Melville. It analyzes how these works prove to show that once boundaries have been overcome and the struggle of perfecting the use of one?s voice is complete, a person is much better off and a more whole human, if they speak out with their own opinions and accept the consequences, be they good or bad.

From the Paper:

"Much like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs wrote as the voice of the slaves in her work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, but she speaks mainly for the female slave's plight by directing her work at a Northern female reader, who is most likely to sympathize. She uses another female in her story, Linda Brent, as herself which says something even more about how her voice had been denied to her for very long. Men had traditionally been in power over women and as a result when speaking were more free to express themselves fully, but women were more protective of their own experiences after having long been denied the ability to speak their mind."

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