Up From Slavery

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Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

full title  Up From Slavery

author  Booker T. Washington

type of work  Autobiography/Non-fiction

genre Bildungsroman

language  English

time and place written  1901, Tuskegee, Alabama

date of first publication  1901

publisher  Hamilton W. Mabie of The Outlook Magazine

narrator  Booker T. Washington

point of view  First-person

tone  Objective, retrospective

tense  Past

setting (time)  1856-1900

setting (place)  United States: Virginia, Alabama, Washington, D.C.

Europe: Belgium, Holland France, England

protagonist  Booker T. Washington

major conflict  The search for meaningful work and the social advancement of African-Americans

rising action  Washington’s attainment of education

climax  The success of the Tuskegee Institute

falling action  Washington’s tour of Europe

themes  Dignity through labor; Selflessness, Desire to be useful to one’s community; Impracticality of political agitation

motifs  Attraction of superficial pleasures and items; Mutual goodwill amongst the best of the races; Learning from and through failure

symbols  Homespun cap; The toothbrush; Henry O. Tanner

foreshadowing  Penniless Washington sleeping under a raised sidewalk in Virginia in Chapter III; Washington’s work as a teacher and leader in Malden, Virginia in Chapter IV; Washington’s invitation to speak on behalf of the city of Charleston in Chapter VI