Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Poetry

Motherhood and the Human Condition: An Analysis of The Slave Mother and Room 12th Grade

In The Slave Mother and Room, respective authors Frances Harper and Emma Donoghue use the raw human emotions of hope, fear, and maternal love to convey how people cope with traumatic events. These qualities deepen the enduring human conditions that continue to resonate with different audiences. Both authors draw attention to the way that society often views individuals who are held captive as less than human. Their texts, however, strive to suggest otherwise. Through emotive language, visual imagery, and language choices, Harper and Donoghue educate their readers about the human condition. They deliver this message by discussing the stigma held towards people who face similar challenges as the main characters. The two texts use various symbols of religion to represent hope, as it is one of the few aspects of both plots that remain free from corruption by the antagonists. The authors focus on this emotion, as without it, humanity will never progress. However, the two texts differ when discussing the human response to fear. In The Slave Mother, the persona withdraws from her fight in fear of making the situation worse. Meanwhile, in Room, Ma uses fear to motivate herself to work harder. The instinctive nature of motherhood in the...

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