Freedom is something both the protagonists of the two stories crave and need. Ellen needs to be free of her abusive father and finds it through his death and Douglass wants to be free of slavery and finds it through his escape. These pursuits not only illustrate the universal need for liberty and the pursuit of pleasure, but the human need to exist and exist well. It is through books such as these, that people can begin to understand things on a deeper level and realize the struggles everyone goes through at one point in their lives.
In conclusion the readings of Ellen Foster and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave illustrate the plight and struggle of people in different times and periods. Ellen had to deal with poverty and abuse in 1970's American south and Douglass had to deal with existing during the period of American slavery. To compare the stories, one had to look at the subject matter. They were very different protagonists, one a black man, another a white girl, but they both determined to succeed and prevail against all odds and obstacles.
In regards to differences, the writing styles were the opposite of each other. One sought to create depth and mystery, the other to analyse and explain. Douglass wanted people to understand the plight of African-Americans were as Gibbons wanted to create a rich and deep character. Two great stories, two great characters, and one universal themese of suffering is what this essay offers.