The Classic Slave Narratives Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the slave trade into which Gustavus Vassa is sold with the slave system he speaks of in his recollections of growing up in Africa. Highlight three major similarities or differences between the Western slave trade and the slave system common to African tribes.

Essay Topic 2

One of Vassa's masters, Mr. King, is kind to his slaves and refuses to beat or abuse them. Instead, he simply sells slaves with whom he is unhappy. Mr. King is a Quaker, and his refusal to torture his slaves is likely in keeping with his religious beliefs. Based on King's treatment of his slaves, does he deserve the title of a good slave owner? The slaves he sells are likely to be abused by their purchasers; does King bear any responsibility for their fate? In a well-developed essay, frame an argument as to whether King is an...

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