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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

7. Slavery and

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Activities: Author Activities

Briton Hammon - Author Questions

Back Back to Briton Hammon Activities
  1. Comprehension: How does Hammon view the Native Americans who capture him in Florida? How does he view the Spanish in Cuba? How does he feel about the Catholicism of his Spanish captors? How does captivity compare with servitude in his experience?

  2. Comprehension: What role does Christianity play in Hammon's understanding of his experiences? When and how does he invoke God in the course of relating his story?

  3. Context: What is the relationship between Hammon's "Narrative" and the narratives of slave escapes that became popular in the nineteenth century (such as those written by Douglass, Craft, or Jacobs, for example)? What historical factors might have caused the tone and subjects of slave narratives to change so dramatically?

  4. Exploration: At several points in his text, Hammon describes his happiness at seeing the English flag, or "English Colours," and identifies himself as an "Englishman." What does being English seem to mean to Hammon? What insights does the "Narrative" provide us into the role of nationalism and national identity within the maritime world along the Atlantic coasts?

  5. Exploration: How does Hammon's "Narrative" compare with the Indian captivity narratives written by Anglo-Americans in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Mary Rowlandson's Narrative, for example)? How are Hammon's concerns different? In what ways are his experiences and reactions similar to those of white captives?

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