- Orally dictated and written down by Thomas Pringle; editorial note remarks about certain
redundancies omitted from the narrative:
o The nature of the omitted information are not identified, brings to light the question
of how redundant Mary Prince may have considered it.
- England tries to separate itself into multiple moral selves:
o The heart, advocating compassion, acknowledgement of all as peoples, while still
condoning it in its colonies, claiming its influence did not extend to the colonies.
o The slave trade was illegal – not slavery; the idea: to limit and eventually abolish the
import of slaves would lead to the eventual end of slavery.
o The state still operates on the economic level – slave owners were paid out to
relinquish the slaves they owned; none of this money ever made it to the slaves
themselves, which makes the action in itself, self-serving.
- Slave Narrative comes out of the lengthy tradition of dehumanization and demoralization.
o Importance: opportunity for men and women to come into representation, to begin
to make the transition from an object to a speaking subject, capable of resisting
o Allowed the former slave to appropriate for him or herself reasoning ability, deep
affective commitments to others, the ability to use multiple languages, and also, an
ability to evaluate a society that has purposely misrepresented slavery.
Prince is entirely capable of surpassing the flaw intellect and emotions of a
culture that tries to keep her enslaved.
In London, where she is ‘free’ but without a character reference and is
regarded with suspicion.
Her and Thomas Pringle aim to create a character reference for her, so she
may get back to Antigua and to her estranged husband.
- Importance of Slave Narrative: SUBJECTIVITY
o Coming into self- representation
o Means of opening of a dialogue between blacks and white
o First persons accounts of violence, horror
o Shrouding the children as she takes them to be sold – shrouding as a metaphor of
clothing persons for death.
o ‘Little chickens’ – her acknowledgement of her and her children’s status in the
o Cayenne pepper: becomes an image drawn from a culinary setting and placed in an
emotional context; not an enhancement of flavour, but a damaging factor.
o The imagery of the heart, beating although it would burst from her chest: the
psychosomatic relationship between her body as a cage for not only her organs, but
her emotions, and ho