1. “One of the difficulties about being a Negro writer (and this in not special pleading, since I don’t mean to suggest that he has it worse than anybody else) is that the Negro problem is written about so widely” (446) James Baldwin is referring to the fact that African American writers have written about all of the problems already suffered by African Americans; He feels that every body considers themselves informed about the African History. He also is stating that there is either a pro or against side in the writings there is pain on both sides there for it is difficult to find things to write about because both sides cause him pain. 2. “But it is a part of the buisness of the writer-as I see it- to examine attitudes, to go beneath the surface, to tap the source.
Racism within Heart of Darkness What is racism? How can someone be classified as a racist? According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, racism is classified as the poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race, or the belief that some races of people are better than others. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has been considered a major turning point for authors and other works because his style of writing was different than most other pieces of literature in his time. Conrad’s use of ambiguity fascinated critics and readers as he used obscurity to dramatize Marlow’s perceptions of the horrors he encounters.
As with the rest of the chapters we’ll find in this book, the theme stays the same: differences bred conflict, and as this chapter states, that conflict could lead to another Civil War. I was actually very surprised with the information I found here. I had no idea that the Civil War spurred on and fed other conflicts. Not only were people involved in movements against or for slavery, but they were also involved in maintaining conditions for the working class and improving them. I think that this time period and these conflicts are often glossed over because everyone remembers the Civil War era as a time of fighting to abolish slavery.
In addition, punishment for killing a slave was often times not enforced, due to the supposed lack of severity of the act. As for people’s sense of morality, he recounts how he has watched good people be turned into demons by the effects of slave ownership. An example of this is Sophia Auld, his owner’s wife, who transformed from a kind woman who was teaching him how to read to a cruel and cold monster. A similar case is the one of Thomas Auld, who once he becomes more religious feels justified in his cruelty towards his slaves, interpreting the teachings of Christianity to put his mind at ease. While telling his story, he concludes that ignorance is slaveholders’ means of making slaves remain slaves.
Do We Owe Our Native Country In the novel Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom the Crafts painted a startling picture of the atrocities that Americans have committed on blacks and how much trouble slaves are willing to endure for freedom. However, I feel that the Crafts included a bit of bias against America for no reason other than to appeal to the English people and sell more books. Although the Crafts did add some anti American propaganda to their novel, they did not hate their home country and in some ways felt that they owed it. One could argue that the Crafts felt a certain loyalty to their home country, or even that they owed it, despite all the wrong it had done to them. Now this question still remains, do we owe anything to our native country?
According to Davis, slaves and peasants were perceived and subjected to common stereotypes regarding the color of their skin, the customs many of the enslaved peoples had before they were conquered, and how the elite upper classes and literate people looked down on them as a dehumanized object. To support this theory, he looked into the role that color symbolism and how physical appearance had a large impact on this misconception. (Davis 50, 57) Another sample he looked and discussed was Islamic and Christian geographic expansions and conflicts that led to the creation of the term Racism that is linked to historic events involving slavery. (Davis 54, 60) Winthrop argues that Slavery and Racism was created at the same time. He supports this argument by looking closely at the meaning of the symbolism behind the color black.
Few people brought attention to the evil and immorality of slavery like Frederick Douglass. In his autobiographical narrative, A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass described the effect that slavery had on not only slaves, but also slave-owners. “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage” (Douglass 160), wrote Douglass in reference to his slave-owner’s wife, Mrs. Auld. What was a moral lady with a sense of conscience at first, was now a “demon” deprived of it. Slavery gave owners and white men a false sense of superiority, a sense of power, which blinded any vision of justice and equality.
Concealed Pain and Suffering The short poem “We Wear the Mask” is about oppressed black Americans forced to hide their pain and frustration behind a façade of happiness and contentment, written by Paul Laurence Dunbar and published in 1896. Prejudice was rampant in the late 19th century. So it was that many blacks wore a mask that suggested happiness and contentment but concealed their pain and suffering. Prejudice was the official policy in Dunbar’s lifetime, governmentally and otherwise, and whites vastly outnumbered blacks. Sometimes, blacks even withheld their true feelings from one another, for defeat and desperation were difficult to articulate, and could impose deep anxiety upon loved ones.
Faulkner’s legendary milieu serves as a safe and distant—albeit magnifying—lens through which he could examine the practices, folkways, and attitudes that have united and divided the people of the South. Faulkner was particularly interested in the moral implications of history. As the South emerged from the Civil War and Reconstruction and attempted to shake off the stigma of slavery, its residents were often portrayed as being caught in competing and evolving modes, torn between a new and an older, more tenaciously rooted world order. Religion and politics frequently fell short of their implied goals of providing order and guidance and served only to complicate and divide. Society, with its gossip, judgment, and harsh pronouncements, conspired to thwart the desires and ambitions of individuals struggling to unearth and embrace their identities.
Again, it seems that the themes for these kind of chapters happens to be the same (“slavery, exploitation of the poor, oppression of lesser peoples, etc. was a thing”) so my reactions are getting to be repetitive. I suddenly found meaning in the title of the chapter, however, so now I understand what it means by “Slavery without submission, Emancipation without freedom.” I believe it refers to the slaves’ refusal to become enslaved, and the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation did not solve everything. In fact, even freedom did not solve everything, as there was still violence and