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Women Writers, Oct. 9

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Grace Kehler

October 9 Mary Prince: - 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 - Metaphors: 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 current status. 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
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