Can someone give me a rundown of Ripley & McDowell? I’ve skimmed the essays as well as the summary/critiques… but I must’ve totally zoned out the days we discussed these critics!

3 Responses to “Help!”

  1. jholmes says:

    Don’t fret too much. I think the key thing to do with the critiques is know the heart of their arguments. I flipped through the essays and found my highlighted passages and that seemed to be the most helpful to me. I found that these quotes seemed to be some of the meatier parts of their respective arguments:
    – Ripley- “one concern was that Douglass, so recently a slave without formal education would not be believed to be the true author of the book.”

    – McDowell- “Douglass’s “freedom -narrative and physical alike- depends on narrating black women’s bondage.”
    -“Douglass’s repetition of the sexualized scene of whipping projects him into voyeuristic relation to the violence against slave women, which he watches, and this he enters into a symbolic complicity with the sexual crime he witnesses.”

  2. Stephen says:

    Yeah I just take it as Ripley asserts Douglass as the author of his own text, aka establishing Douglass’ authority as a writer and then McDowell tries to tear Douglass down, saying he is basically sexist and not this great hero he is made out to be. I think this is also the one where she tries to say Douglass’ narrative is only possible one the back of women, aka Douglass’ story isn’t that great because all he did was use women.

  3. Meg Baker says:

    Thanks you two! That helps 🙂