Book Of Negroes Analysis

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Simmons 1 Mrs Fung Shayne Simmons ENG4U1 April 2nd, 2012 The Pursuit of Happiness In A Land of Despair The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill depicts the tale of a woman who is taken from her village at a young age and forced into slavery. This piece of historical-fiction depicts the struggles and the hardships, but also the joys and love that she feels throughout her life. This woman goes by the name of Aminata Diallo or, as she later becomes well known as, Meena Dee. Aminata's story is a story of lost love and of dreams when returning to a life she used to know. Her tale is all about her longing to go home. This novel dramatizes the history and reminds everybody of the cruelty and the extreme mistreatment of other humans due to their…show more content…
This is my name. This is who I am. This is how I got here. In the absence of an audience, I will write down my story so that it waits like a restful beast with lungs breathing and heart beating” (144). Aminata says this because she yearns for the ability to become literate and doesn't understand why it should only be limited to her male counterparts. It was not easy for one to become literate in the late 18th century and it was especially difficult for an African in the days of slavery. Aminata is fortunate to have guidance and teachers along her journeys such as her, Mamed and the Lindo's. Mamed began her journey by teaching her the basics, the Lindo's furthers her education by teaching her how to read, write and how to do accounting, a task which would later progress her life even further. It became evident throughout The Book of Negroes, that Aminata enjoys the praise and admiration that she receives, as well as the privileges that came with being literate. “I liked ... recording how people obtained their freedom, how old they were and where they had been born. ... I loved the way people followed the movement of my hand as I wrote down their names and the way they made me read them aloud once I was done” (412). Due to her persistence in wanting to learn she became a well known figure around the world which leads to her come to the attention of an abolitionist who would eventually help disestablish the social norm of 'owning' a slave. During her final years Aminata testifies against slavery and wrote her autobiography; finally
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