c.) The varying interpretations indicate the use of “presentism” throughout the periods in which the affair has been analyzed. During the civil rights movement, use of the term “blacks” to describe the slave population was seen as one of the main points of insensitivity, because African Americans of the time had such little cultural footing in America. After the 60s, students began to reflect on Jefferson’s unwillingness to see integration as an option, because African Americans were still struggling to integrate after the civil rights movements. Modern day, the concern lies in Jefferson’s blatant stereotyping of slaves as lesser and even as “musical”. These all reflect the current ideals of the time in
The preconceived notions of the white men made them see the ten black men as nothing more then meat that they can use as fun in which they have them do terrible things to themselves and to one another. These men were not just the typical uneducated white man, “They were all there—bankers, lawyers, judges, doctors, fire chiefs, teachers, merchants. Even one of the more fashionable pastors.” The way in which the black men were blindfolded and told to fight one another shows how the white men in attendance had no concern for their well being, they just wanted the insurance of a fun evening of laughing at these innocent men, whom which they plan on shouting at and belittling. They had only black men to compete in the battle royal, for they were aware of the level of embarrassment that this task would bring upon all involved but thinking how they did, they thought the “niggers” would not care, for they were not human enough to fell humiliation. This occurrence alone is enough to prove that this episode of the novel can show the ruthlessness of racism in America.
The battle royal is a dog-eat-dog atmosphere. Right when the narrator and his class mates step into the elevator he knows he is there for a better reason, “ I felt superior to them in my own way, and I didn‘t like the manner in which we were all crowded together into the servants‘ elevator (Ellison 353). He knows he is smarter and here for a greater reason then them, but yet he still felt intimidated by them. In the ‘Battle Royal’ when the boys were blindfolded and thrown in the rink is a direct parallel to society in general, how blacks were thrown into the world competing against each other to see who would succeed. This is demonstrated how they are all turned on each other when they have to compete “[…] everybody fought everybody else.
Some look down because they don’t want to be accused of looking at her. The white men are yelling at them to look at her, or don’t look at her. The boys don’t know how they are expected to behave because they are now supposed to have equal rights and they should be able to look at the woman, but the white men are yelling at them like animals. The white men were in control, they white men found entertainment in this because they believe that blacks are still lower than them. They also believe that women are lower than them because they can subject the blonde woman to be ogled in a room by a bunch of people to watch their reactions and not think twice about it.
Comparative of Narrative of the life of Frederic Douglass and The Awakening In this life we sometimes have to follow guidelines or a set of expectations of what society expects of us; but all that we really long for is to have freedom of our self. Transcendentalist, the individual, the true-self was sacred, and conforming to the norms of the institutions of society was worse than death itself. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederic Douglass, Frederic himself revolts against the peculiar institution of slavery because he made a decision in his mind that there was something more than just be a slave in life. The awakening (1899) by Kate Chopin, it should a lady that revolts against patriarchy. Douglass upholds Civil Rights, while Chopin upholds Women’s Rights; yet both essentially uphold the Right of the individual.
Slavery and Racism in Early American History Freedom is flawed. Truthfully, total freedom is impossible to achieve in this world, since the chains that bind humans disable us from truly living freely. With the constant stresses of simply living or being confined to the laws of the land, our freedom is suppressed. Since every human being falls under being constrained, however, we should all share the burden equally. In past history, enslavement of another was usually the result of an unpaid debt, the spoils of a victorious war, or the consequences of a crime.
Although each of them had their own perspectives, their main objective was the same. Reparations in this society can be defined by stating that the U.S. government needs to make a formal apology to blacks for the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade due to social and economic consequences in the United States. Advocates also feel the U.S. government owes the black people. Blacks remain behind due to many things, the most important being slavery. The Constitution, until recently, did not apply to blacks; blacks feel they deserve payments from 310 years of slavery, destruction to their minds and culture.
Middle class Americans are a group variously described throughout American history. However, the term “slaves” would probably never be chosen as a description of this societal group. Outside of the unfortunate illegal slave trade stories reported by the news media, the concept of slavery is considered a “thing of the past.” However, the stories and poems created by Realism authors such as Mark Twain and Paul Lawrence Dunbar provide a continual reminder of the heinousness of this practice. Their works do not speak of the facts and figures and arguments either for or against slavery but of the actual human experience of being a slave. When reading their work, one feels the emotional and mental impact of being a possession, of the lack of choice and of the absence of freedom.