Literature has served as one of the most convincing tools for developing emancipatory thinking
among Americans, particularly the colored people in the antebellum period. The current research
paper is an attempt to study and explore how emancipatory thinking was developed through literature which is,
generally considered to be more fictional than factual. Through the close reading of the selected narratives written
during the period, the researcher has attempted to unearth various aspects and relate them with the factual accounts
of the time in order to investigate their closer relationship with each other. This required a theoretical framework that
would enable us to juxtapose the literary and non-literary texts to have an actual picture of the situation; therefore,
the non-literary journalistic writings during that period have been studied parallel to the literary narratives. The
findings and discussion developed in this study also suggest that further studies may also be conducted in order to
dispel the misconception ascribed to narratives of the antebellum period that narratives are imaginary scattered
accounts of the authors which are much exaggerated than to have elements of realism.
1-Amir Jamil Ph.D Scholar, Area Study Centre, Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad/ Lecturer Department of English, Hafiz Hayyat Campus, University of Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan. 2-Bahramand Shah Assistant Professor, Area Study Centre, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Antebellum, Close Reading, Narratives, Emancipatory Thinking, New Historicism