The Representation of Slavery in Women’s Appeals

The two pieces of women’s literature we read presented a very interesting approach to representing slavery. In the Petition Form for Women written by the Grimke sisters the petition focuses much on the oppressed women to take advantage of the work that there husbands do. By take advantage, I mean they tell them to use their position as the wife of a slave owner to convince him to give up the wrongful institution he participates in.  Both petitions are similar in that they convince the reader to use her power as a woman to convince their husbands and sons to end slavery. The actual description of slaves in minute as the essays choose to focus more on the plight of women. There is more attention directed to the position of women.

In my opinion, these petitions took a very different approach towards ending the institution of slavery. Rather than presenting the horrible truths to slavery, they appealed more to the independence of women. The Grimke sisters encouraged women to step outside their boxes and speak up not only for themselves but for their fellow impressed. The chose to focus on the relationship between the slaves and women rather than the slaves themselves. One can infer that the intentions of these sisters was only to gain a political following that can help support the abolitionist cause. I feel like had they pointed out the actual details of the wrong-doing in slavery, they would have appealed more to women’s emotions and thus been able to gain an even stronger following. Overall there is a very distant representation of the slaves.


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