Frederick Douglas’ narrative is a captivating autobiography. There are several different elements that assist in making Douglas’ narrative so intriguing and compelling. The types of narrative that Douglas uses in his autobiography, maturation and conversion, incorporate these elements as part of the structure. Firstly he incorporates a dual presence, himself acting in the past and of self writing in the present. For example, “The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness… The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek.” (1009) Douglas is writing of past experienced events, yet at the same time from a present perspective about past and present emotions, which affords an enhancing characteristic to the narrative. The events that Douglas chose to write of also bear significance in concern to how captivating the narrative is, because they emphasize topics of human struggle, which spark interest. Douglas writing of his aunt being brutally whipped establishes feelings of sympathy and remorse for his past condition and hope for what is to come in the rest of the narrative. Thirdly Douglas includes, even in the introduction, metaphors that express his severe condition. A metaphor with in the introduction creates the depressing relation between slaves and animals in terms of the ignorance they were kept in by their masters, “slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs.” The metaphors also act to implicitly relate the meanings of his experience in his maturation.

Simon Bolivar wrote for the cause of revolution in Spanish America, in response to the tyrannical nature of the Spanish monarchy. Within his writing though, The Jamaica Letter, it is not exactly clear what type of government he wishes to replace the Spanish one with. There are several things that attribute to why he is unable to clearly state what he wants. First of all Bolivar takes an approach to this issue that focuses on what wouldn’t work more than what would, leaving him without a resolution. Another point is that there is a difference between what he himself wants, and what the people of Spanish America yearn for, this creates another area lacking clarity. Bolivar’s suggestion for government is essentially something undetermined that implements components of all types of governments.
Bolivar’s establishes the two types of government that would not be suitable for Spanish America within in the first paragraph. The “perfect government” which is a “grand republic,” is unattainable in Bolivar’s mind, although it is something for them to aspire to. A monarchy is attainable, but it is less desirable considering the circumstances under the Spanish monarchy, hence inappropriate. However, after stating these two perspectives Bolivar proceeds to claim that Spanish America needs the “stewardship of paternalistic government,” a paternalistic government usually takes form in a monarchy. Bolivar later states that, “I believe that Americans… would prefer republics to kingdoms.” So, if Bolivar thinks that republics are unattainable for the people, yet the people want republics, and monarchies are undesirable, yet paternalistic governing is needed, what does that leave? Not even a constitutional monarchy considering his commentary on the English, “I reject the monarchial blend of aristocracy and democracy which has brought such fortune and splendor to England.” Apparently a combination government is Bolivar’s solution, “a middle way,” yet he fails to elaborate any further on what it would be comprised of. Bolivar focuses on the reasons for why republics and monarchies are not suitable for Spanish America, yet he doesn’t have an answer for what would be suitable, which is the real question.

Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts on racial differences are complicated, idealistic, and contradictory as understood through Queries XIV and XVIII. The ideas that Jefferson proposes range from idealistic support of abolitionism to the inferiority of blacks in comparison to whites. Jefferson struggled with the issue of racial difference because his thought processes did not coincide with the status quo of the time and place in history in which he resided. Jefferson was a part of the aristocratic slave owning class of Virginia, yet he was also a highly educated statesmen establishing the ground work for a nation, this established a conflicted situation which is made clear through analysis of his writing. The argument can thus be made that; Jefferson conveyed his battle between reality and idealism through his writing unknowingly.
In Queries XIV and XVIII Jefferson succeeds in creating contradiction by proposing the idealistic emancipation of all slaves with the creation of the new nation, yet repatriating them to Africa because of the impossibility of miscegenation. In Query XIV Jefferson proceeds to make the claim that blacks are inferior to whites through numerous examples. It is as if he writes as an enlightened statesman and then transgresses into a prejudiced slave owner depending on the query. For example Jefferson states in Query XVIII, “ …I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven for a total emancipation.”(537) As well as, “ Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that god is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever…”(537) in reference to slavery, one would assume Jefferson was an adament abolitionist. However, in Query XVIII, Jefferson writes, “the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into two parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.” (532) More evidence can be found as well in this statement, “…blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances are inferior to whites in endowments both of body and mind.”(536) One would assume Jefferson to be a prejudiced slave owner.

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