Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
A comparative essay requires a student to compare and contrast two objects, ideas, notions, events, etc.
A student can use one of two approaches when writing a comparative essay.
The first one is to pick similar or contrasting aspects of the subject of discussion and comparing them side-by-side.
This approach is recommended for lengthy essays, as it ascertains the reader does not lose track of the subject of discussion.
In the other approach, you analyze one object first, move to the second object and analyze it, then you write your conclusions last.
Compare And Contrast Essay Examples
The following are examples demonstrate how to come up with a good comparative essay.
The first one follows the side by side comparison approach, while the second one analyzes two pieces of literature separately.
Compare and Contrast Essay Sample #1
Treatment of slaves in “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Jacobs and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Stowe compared to the treatment of the marginalized communities in America today.
This research paper critically analyses two short novels; “incidents in the life of a slave girl” by Jacob and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Stowe. It analyses the treatment of the slaves in both books and compares them to the marginalized communities in America. Both books portray the suffering and abuse that the slaves had to endure. In “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, most of the characters except Tom, in the novel are female. The author was showing the struggles and hardships that mothers and wives undergo. The book also portrays the torture that the slaves underwent in the hands of white masters. They lived in horrible and unbearable conditions. The author of “Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl”, Harriet Jacobs, describes and openly shows how destructive the practice is and wishes that more can be done to put an end to it. There are minorities who are still being marginalized in the U.S. today. These communities receive unequal treatment as compared to other communities. As much as it believed that slavery ended centuries ago, there are still practices that are evident and proof that slavery is real even in today’s world.
THE BOOKS’ SETTING
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The events of this book took place in the mid-19th century in Kentucky on the Shelby plantation where lived a man named Tom and his family; wife and children. A female slave named Eliza flees to Canada through Ohio after learning that her son is being sold. The masters were so in control of their slaves’ lives such that they would track the slave who runs away to the north and take them back to the south. Slaves considered it safe to seek refuge in Canada because it had abolished slavery (SET, 2008).in contrary to this was Tom’s movement from Kentucky to New Orleans. This journey represents a transition into danger and darkness.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
The town where the author was born and raised is where the events of the first two-thirds of the novel take place, Edenton, North Carolina. The place is not much described but it can be assumed that it is a small street since Linda could see what was happening from her grandmother’s shed where she used to hide. In this narrative, the white and black communities seem closer and interact more than it would be expected. Unlike in Uncle Tom’s setting, the setting of this book seems nice and no physical abuse or torture towards slave is seen but the similarity comes in when it portrays the slavery life in a different setting (SET, 2008).
The books have several themes that are similar but are used is different in the two contexts. A theme such as slavery is portrayed in both books. Uncle Tom’s Cabin illustrates how slaves were suffering and living in misery. It shows the wider picture of how slavery affects even those who are not directly involved in it. “Incidents in the life of a slave girl” portrays how women suffer in slavery including children. Both books similarly reveal how slavery affects women and their families (SET, 2008). In the race: “Incidents in the life of a slave girl” contradicts the perception that white people are more civilized and innately moral as compared to blacks who are perceived primitive and savage. The author, Jacobs, accounts that it is the other way round, white people were more primitive and amoral based on their cruel acts against the African American slaves. There is a lot of similarity in how the theme of race is portrayed in both books. Stowe’s novel, it shows how unacceptable slavery based on race is. In this book, the author suggests that the minority have an equal contribution to the society that can aid in its development in different ways. It further explains that God loved the black and white equally and so should we treat one another (SET, 2008).
In the theme of women and femininity, both authors demonstrate how slavery affects family life especially women. The authors sympathize with mothers who were slaves because they were forced to separate from their husbands and children. In incidents in the life of a slave girl, it further illustrates how women are regularly degraded and considered inferior under slavery. On the other hand, Jacob also shows how united women can be and strengthen one another, for example, the friendship between Linda and Aunt Martha. When it comes to the theme of religion there is a difference in how it has been used in the novels. In Jacob’s novel, the author shows how religion is used in an evil away under slavery. The slaveholder used religion to control slaves and put them in check (SET, 2008). They used religion to their advantage and oppressed the slaves. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin religion is used to make the minority feel loved and have faith in God no matter the challenges they go through. Stowe believed in religious faith and strongly believed that religion will play a bigger role in the abolition of slavery. However, it also condemned how slave owners interpreted the bible to support their practices.
Symbolism and Imagery
The north and the South regions are portrayed in the novel to show the difference between the states. In the novels, the South states represent slavery and impunity while the North symbolizes freedom and is against slavery. However the novels go further to reveal that the Northern states which are considered pure and free from slavery are actually benefiting from the slave trade from the south (SET, 2008).
Feminist theory in the novels
Both novels portray the strength of the female characters. In Stowe’s narrative, Eliza’s escape with her son to safety is viewed as a heroic act. The same applies to how Cassy planned to free herself from Simon Legree (Mazzeno, 2010). In Jacob’s novel, her escape from slavery was a great risk that she took to free herself from the bondage of slavery. Aunt Martha in Incidents in the life of a slave girl is also celebrated for her true womanhood by owning a home and supporting herself from the bakery business. She also portrayed her strength and courage by using a loaded gun to chase a Whiteman from her house. The novel shows Linda’s bravery by taking hold of her future when she refused to be treated as an object and be submissive to her master Mr. Bruce (Logan, n.d).
Slavery is an unpleasant notion; it is crueler when it is only a minority in the community who receive harsh and violent treatment. The conditions that the slaves lived in were unbearable and inhumane. The treatment they received from their masters was harder for women. The torture they endured was not only physical but emotional, especially for the young female slaves. The sexual abuse that they suffered stripped them of their dignity and was ashamed of themselves as women.
In incidents in the life of a slave girl, mistreatment is evident in chapter 9 where Mr. Litch tortures his slaves by starving them, physically abusing them and sometimes end their lives(SET, 2010). This exhibit shows how valueless slaves’ lives were, to their masters, slaves were nothing but properties. In “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” chapter 30 it is clearly seen how Simon Legree is yelling and verbally insulting Tom in the Warehouse. They are chained together like animals. This shows how cruel and brutal and brutal the white masters were. In addition to that, they were also racist considering the names they use to call the slaves such as ‘nigger’.
The marginalization of the minority in America
A minority includes immigrants, colored, female, or disabled people. This group feels neglected and argues that the U.S Government is not doing enough to include them in the development of the country (Cabrera et al, 2014). The treatment that these groups receive is not much different from the treatment of the slaves in the discussed novels. Even though there is a constitution that is supposed to protect every American Citizen, politics or other factors find a way of making it impossible for the minority to achieve their American Dream.
When it comes to gender equality, women have always been considered inferior in all sectors and always made to work under men. This is evident in the working environment where men are paid more than women for doing the same job (Cabrera et al, 2014). Job opportunities are also less for women as compared to men, this leads to women being the underdeveloped gender. Through the movement of civil rights led by Martin Luther King Jr., people believe that racism was abolished back in the 1960s. Studies have proven that racism is still active in our society today. Black people have a history of facing racism from every angle. The policies that were established to curb racism are being ignored and hence irrelevant (Cabrera et al, 2010).
The community that was hit by a hurricane in September 2005 in New Orleans was African Americans (Piven, 2005). This story unveiled the overwhelming population of the black community who are poor due to low wage jobs and high levels of illiteracy. The community is neglected and forgotten. They have not been receiving support income from the U.S government for several decades. The American politics of marginalization changed due to the civil rights movement which softened marginalization. This was just a partial success more needs to be done to reinforce the present laws and policies.
Cabrera, C., Fix, V., Javier, K., & Prado, N. (2014). How Minority are Still Marginalized in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.jjay.cuny.edu/sites/default/files/contentgroups/sasp/poster_gallery/poster45.pdf
Logan, B. slavery. Retrieved from http://www.reed.edu/english/Courses/English341nn/Studpages/Brooke/
Piven, F. (2005). Marginalization and American Politics. Retrieved from https://journals.openedition.org/lisa/814
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Chapter 9 Summary. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://www.shmoop.com/incidents-life-slave-girl/chapter-9-summary.html
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://www.shmoop.com/incidents-life-slave-girl/symbolism-imagery.html
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Critical Evaluation” Critical Survey of Literature for Students Ed. Laurence W. Mazzeno. eNotes.com, Inc. 2010 eNotes.com 6 Jul, 2018 <http://www.enotes.com/topics/uncle-toms-cabin/critical-essays/critical-evaluation>
Compare and Contrast Essay Sample #2
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