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Word Count: 723
There is no doubting the fact that slavery has been and always will be a controversial issue What makes it even more complicated is the conflicting accounts of the slaves experiences The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass and Beloved both use a unique storytelling device constructing a present from the unspeakable stories of the past They take the psychic scars of slavery scars that cover an entire nation and shrink them down to a very personal level However their individual accounts of slavery are quite different One major difference is how each defines the relationship between a slave mother and her child Frederick Douglass writes of being separated from his mother when he was an infant He states this was a common practice His only guess for the separation was to hinder the development of the childs affection toward its mother and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child Page 2 Douglass only saw his mother a few times She usually visited him at bedtime and left before he woke up So removed was he from her life that when she died he felt no more sadness than if he had been told a stranger had died Unfortunately we dont have the benefit of his mothers memories of her affections towards her son We only have one childs point of view In Beloved Sethe also remembers seeing her mother only a few times The difference between Sethe and Frederick Douglass is Sethe talked of having a genuine affection for her mother Sethe gets to play the roles of both child and mother The audience gets to see her love for her own children and her distress of being separated from them She loves her children so much she would rather kill them than submit them to the horrors of Sweet Home The difference between the bonding of the two main characters to their mothers may very well lie
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