Slave Narratives – Coursework Example
Discuss the tension between autobiography and fiction in Harriet Wilsons Our Nig, in terms of the books literary history as well as its thematic concerns.
Harriet Wilson’s our Nig is a fiction and story combined to give the accounts of slavery. Critics feel that this work of fiction gives an exaggerated account of lives of slaves as against the factual position and affects of institution of slavery during those times. .Although ‘our Nig’ may be fictional, yet it holds certain valid accounts of the slavery and the enslaved people particularly the fate of slave named Frado. Mrs.. Wilson has tried to depict hat the situation with regard to north is slightly different from the south, which may be slightly better. This has left the north to ponder over the facts that could refute this comparison. The contents do contain the description of poverty, physical and mental torture and enforced separation of the child from mother. However, these may turn to be exaggerated and thus become controversial as such.
Mr. Wilson has tried to depict in controversial manner the pro and anti slavery theory, giving it a racial face. This is depicted by Frado’s entry into the house of Mrs. Bellmunts and Mary her daughter being afraid to cohabit with the black slave, however Mrs. Beellmount is sure that the presence of Frado, the slave will be beneficial to the white house and its inmates. This gives an impression of how Mrs. Wilson has depicted the pro slavery concept in her thinking and behavior.
In fact, as we know Mrs. Wilson wanted to support her sick son during those times only, and eventually her son died sometime after finishing “our Nig’. This seems to have an affect on the writing of ‘Our Nig’ as Mrs. Wilson could go through the feeling of agony and mental torture that a mother goes through when the child is separated from her. This leaves certain impressions on her writing, while looking at the institution of slavery in a humanized manner.