Runaway Slaves And Time On The Cross

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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When examining the different approaches in two works of literature, focus should be on the authors' view. Evaluating their background information, looking at the research that was used to come up with such conclusions, and investigating passages from the novel can help reach the authors' view and understanding.

In comparing the techniques of two completely different writers, in such a controversial subject, it is critical to mention their background. Robert William Fogel was born in New York City 4 years after his family migrated to the U.S.A from Russia. He went to school and studied under talented professors. Fogel then pursued his study in American economic history. Fogel's approach was at a professional level due to his economic degree. John Hope Franklin is a black man born in Retiesville, Oklahoma yet raised in Tulsa. He was an educated man as well. But he was preparing himself to write stories of his race including tragic events that affected his own life.

Because of Franklin's background his approach in his writing was externally personal.

In the writings of Fogel and Franklin different research approaches were used. Fogel attempted to base his novel on factual information that is non-hypothetical. His research consists of massive quantities of numerical data. Using a high-speed computer to throw all his research together a new perspective of slavery came to life. Fogel's approach on slavery indicated that slaves were economically efficient. He used plenty of charts and graphs in his writing to represent the data that he had gathered. As for Franklin, his research didn't stop there. He went on and researched plantation records, local newspapers, diaries, runaway slave notices, along with petitions to county courts and state legislatures. Franklin's novel expressed the dreams of freedom and the rebellion of slaves. That is why in his novel he...