The paths of each of these three women reflect the various ways in which women especially mulattoes and African American women depended on males for survival (Castronovo, 2004).
For example, Clotel who is purchased by Green has been shown as beautiful and charming. Clotel is used by Green as a common law wife and bears a daughter Mary with her. This run of joy is shown to be cut short until Green’s ambition forces him to marry a white woman who sells Clotel and enslaves her daughter Mary. The novel clearly signifies that the white woman was far more emancipated and in position to control the lives of African Americans and mulattoes.
As the novel progresses, Clotel does her best to run away and to rescue Mary but the highly stacked odds only leave her in desperation. Caught and sold off time and again, Clotel is shown to commit suicide once she is cornered after running off. Clotel’s life stands in contrast to her mother Currer’s life who is bought by a preacher Peck. Peck’s daughter plans on releasing Currer but she dies of yellow fever instead. It must be noticed that in relating Currer’s end the author provides the reader with hope and then takes the hope away with Currer’s death. Brown’s narrative of Currer’s life especially its end signifies the hope of emancipation in the life of millions of slaves and mulattoes. However, emancipation fails to come through for Currer as for millions of other enslaved people before the end of their lives.