Discussion Questions

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1. In what way does John Andrew Jackson’s discussion of the hypocrisy of white “Christians” relate to the depiction of Christianity in other slave narratives?

2. How does Jackson use Christianity as a means of freeing himself from slavery?

3. Would creating a present day slave narrative that focuses on human trafficking be an effective means to spread awareness about this issue?

4. Do you think slave narratives should be a part of public school curriculum, and why? What can high schoolers benefit from learning about slave narratives?

5. What are some other examples of present-day “slavery” and what effect does it have on society?

6. What connection can be made between Jackson’s life and the overarching concept of slavery that was occurring at this time?

7. What impact do you believe the Fugitive Slave Laws had on the creation of these slave narratives?

8. Was Jackson’s slave narrative more a historical piece or a piece of literature?

9. Identify signifying techniques seen throughout Jackson’s slave narrative.

10. Religion has been shown to be a significant theme in Jackson’s slave narrative. What other universal themes can be identified? What is their significance?

11. What is Jackson’s primary purpose (argument) in writing his narrative? As a reader, how would you rate the effectiveness of Jackson’s rhetoric?

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