Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Les Harrison


Slave narratives influenced nineteenth-century American religious culture and history; through the slave narrative, modern readers experience the African-American struggle for freedom and personhood in the antebellum South. While the slave narrative stimulated identity- formation, once identity was formed a narrator fought for authority and control of that identity throughout their narrative. This struggle for control is present in the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner. Due to each slave’s religious allusions, African-American literary scholars repeatedly link Douglass and Turner to biblical books such as Jonah and Ezekiel. However, this thesis will examine Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, Written by Himself, and Thomas R. Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner through the lens of the Book of Job. By examining Douglass’s and Turner’s pursuit of knowledge through correlations within the Book of Job, both scriptural authority and authenticity emerges within each narrative.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014