Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The History of Mary Prince - 1 Reflection

1. Reading the narrative from Mary Prince interested me a lot more than Equiano. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy Equiano, but I think it was because of gender that drew me into Prince more. Prince heavily focused on the pathos, or emotional, element in her narrative. I think reading about the abuse and violence very much struck me. It was interesting to read how in depth she made the violence, especially from a woman’s perspective. Although, because Prince is a female, I think writing about abuse and violence is such a strong concept. Many readers would think that violence would be an idea that is typically addressed by a man, but on the other hand, writing about such ideas from a woman’s perspective draws in the female audience with feelings of guilt and disheartenment. Overall, I really enjoyed reading Mary Prince’s narrative because it was directed more to my kind of audience – a female perspective. Reading about how she had a family, and knew who her parents were – something that many slaves did not know – was really fascinating. Also the fact that she wasn’t separated from her mother and siblings until she was a little older wasn’t known. I felt like I could almost feel the same pain and suffering that Prince went through just because the words she wrote were so strong and believable. Both Equiano and Prince wrote their narratives to make an argument that slavery was a horrible thing, but Prince wrote with an emotional tone while Equiano wrote with a more legal tone. Prince chose to have her audience be women, and since she is a woman, it was easier to write for women and make them persuade their husbands to abolish slavery. She tends to come right out and say this is how it is, and it is a horrible thing that must be abolished. I really loved how much mother/daughter relationship was written into this story, especially in the beginning. Prince seemed like she really loved her mother, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to be sold away from a parent. Obviously, I did not grow up in a time of slavery, but I don’t know how I would be if I was sold to work on a plantation, and owned as property. On page 262, Prince writes the line, “How can slaves be happy when they have the halter round their neck and the whip upon their back?” I found this quote to really stick out to me because it’s so truthful. There couldn’t have been any way that a slave was truly happy working on a plantation, and getting beaten every time they disobeyed their master. I think it stood out to me because it shows how Prince focused on attracting her audience to side with her through the use of emotions. She seemed smart enough to make her audience women who could be drawn into the emotional affect, and persuade their husbands to side with the abolitionists.

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