Imagery In Frances E. W. Harper's The Slave Mother

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During the 17th century, slavery from Africa was very common in the United States. During 1776, Americans gained freedom from Britain, some African slaves fought alongside with White Americans to gain freedom from America while fighting for America’s freedom. Even though African slaves fought in the Revolutionary War, most African slaves were unable to get their own freedom. In the southern states there was a high demand for cotton and tobacco labor. Southern states like Alabama, Maryland, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia had large fertile land for cropping. Southern plantation owners bought and transported slaves in order for the slaves to work on their cotton or tobacco farms. Many slaves were brought to the Southern states against their own will, most were ripped away from their families, and most were treated horrible by their owners. As more slaves were brought to the…show more content…
Harper addresses the cruelty of slavery. The cruelty of slavery in this poem is a slave mother being torn away from her children. Harper’s tone is despair and sadness in which it can be conveyed through imagery, “she is a mother, pale with fear, her boy clings to her sides.” Harper appeals to the reader by using vivid imagery to convey the image of a son being taken away from her son. Then it is revealed that the son is “not hers, although she bore for him a mother’s pains; he is not hers, although her blood is coursing through his veins!” This shows the relationship between a mother and son runs so deep and he seeks protection and comfort from her mother. Harper revealed that the son belongs to the slave owner since woAs the child is being taken away the mother is in pain because her son got taken away, “ No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks, disturb the listening air: She is a mother, and her heart is breaking in despair.” The importance of this passage is that Harper wrote this to protest against slavery and to influence white Northerners
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