Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

This book uses an unusual approach to portray an important individual's life. The author uses first-hand accounts of the life and times of Harriet Tubman, so the account is true, but she also "imagines" specific scenes and times, and how Harriet might have acted as she experienced them. This is true fiction, but the author has researched her individual so well that it is almost as if she knows her, and knows how she would react in these situations. That makes it a much more interesting and engaging book, because it is almost as if the reader is right there with Tubman, experiencing what she experienced, and it makes it much easier to read this book and imagine what Tubman experienced throughout her life.

There were many elements of Tubman's life that I had not read about before. For example, I did not know that she lived to be nearly 100 years old, and I did not know about her time spent as a spy for the Union Army. I mostly knew her from her exploits with the Underground Railroad, but I did not know that she made so many journeys back for her family and others, I thought she had formed the railroad and that others helped people escape. She was a true heroine, and many people of the time acknowledged that. One newspaper wrote, "We write,' Sanborn continues, 'of one of these heroines, of whom our slave annals are full -- a woman whose career is as extraordinary as the most famous of her sex can show'."

She also served as a nurse for a time during the war, another thing I did not know. She was also severely injured as a child with a head injury, and suffered from it throughout her life. She attributed her visions to that injury and thought it gave her the ability to listen to God.

The author portrayed Tubman honestly. She showed that she was not a perfect woman, but that she was a very determined one. She shows her as uneducated but extremely smart, illiterate but unafraid to speak out, and especially devoted to her family, who were the initial reason she kept returning to Maryland to lead slaves to freedom. She was a remarkable woman who represents the strength and determination of all blacks who longed for freedom, and the author portrays her as such. The author does not seem biased in any way; she simply seems as if she wanted a new generation of people to understand Tubman and her life's work, and to appreciate how valuable she was to American history. By "inventing" the details of her life, she breathes life into Tubman, and she tells her story with skill and with detail.


Lowry, Beverly. Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. New York: Doubleday, 2007.

Beverly Lowry. Harriet Tubman: Imagining a…

Sources Used in Document:


Lowry, Beverly. Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. New York: Doubleday, 2007.

Beverly Lowry. Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life. New York: Doubleday, 2007, 194.

Ibid, 200.

Ibid, 327.

Cite This Research Proposal:

"Harriet Tubman Imagining A Life" (2009, April 27) Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

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"Harriet Tubman Imagining A Life", 27 April 2009, Accessed.29 May. 2020,