For black women, however, the institution of slavery affected their psychological states, their marriages, and their family life. Slaves were frequently beaten, often without reason or cause. Their husbands were often sold to neighboring plantations, and female slaves were often terrorized by their male masters, ruining the sanctity of marriage amongst slave households (Brinkley 261). The children of female slaves were also often sold to other plantations, ripping apart the last remaining family that a female slave possessed (Northup, 12 Years a Slave). The constant auctioning of slaves and their children disturbed a female slaves ability to care for her children, and the sanctity of the family was ruined by the institution.
The most notable account of this separated was faced by a female slave that Northup encounters by the name of Eliza. Northup writes about the disregarding of the white slave traders towards the suffering of the mother and intense emotion of grief that Eliza displayed at the auction block when she realized that she was being separated from her children. As Northup noted, All the time the trade was going on, Eliza was crying aloud, and wringing her hands. She besought the man not to buy her child, unless he also bought herself and her other small child. She promised, in that case, to be the most faithful slave that ever lived.
Sethe, a Slave to Her Past Numerous authors in American literature produce characters whose origins are unusual, unfamiliar, and often mysterious in the work. Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved successfully introduced a character that resembles the features mentioned above. Sethe, a young black woman born into slavery escapes from extreme bondage in the Nineteenth Century in the United States with memories bounded with torture. The novel has many scenes that are very striking, most of which have to deal with the treatment of the African-Americans. Slavery has always been one of the appalling phenomena in our world.
She has been tortured, beaten, and raped by her slave masters. Sethe has also been abandoned by her own mother who was too a victim of the atrocities of slavery. Sethe’s master’s nephews beat and molest her while she is pregnant with her fourth child, Denver, mutilating her so gravely that “her back skin had been dead for years” (Morrison 18). Even though her experiences have scarred her, Sethe is determined and hopeful to attain a happy and safe life with and for her children. Sethe constantly uses the words “they took my milk” to describe her violation between the boys (Morrison 17).
“The colour purple” explores the struggle of several black women of the rural Georgia in the beginning of the twentieth century. Walker uses Celie as her central protagonist, and narrator of The Color Purple. She is a poor, uninformed, fourteen-year-old black girl living in rural Georgia. Celie starts writing letters to God because her father, Alphonso, hits and rapes her. Alphonso has already impregnated Celie once.
At a time when families were torn apart, friends were killed and people were hunted, love was scarce. Slavery destroyed families, where the only link between a mother and her children was blood. If a slave woman had a child, that child would be enslaved as well. Slave children were separated from their mothers while they were still nursing, breaking any ties between mother and child. It was one woman’s job as a slave to provide milk for all of the slave children while their mothers were sent back to work.
Hannah Tay Yee Ern Mrs. McNeill 3A 5 November 2014 Psychological Impacts of Slavery As Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897), an African-American writer who escaped from slavery, once said: “When they told me my new-born babe was a girl, my heart was heavier than it had ever been before. Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.” Indeed, slavery was an obstacle to emancipation. It left both physical and emotional scars on those who were enslaved. They were shackled to the past - the unforgettable past. In the historical fiction novel Beloved, written by Toni Morrison, the lives of female and male slaves were explicitly described.
The practice of slavery is one of the most significant events in the US history. It not only caused a civil war between the north and the south that almost separated the whole nation, but also many African Americans suffered from the slavery. Referring slavery as the “original sin” of the United States, Morrison indicates the profound impacts of slavery to both antebellum and postbellum society in the US. In her novel Beloved, she suggests the loss of identity, separation of family, and physical and mental abuse that are brought up by the slavery and reminds people not to forget the history. The slavery causes a destruction and confusion of the identities of the African Americans.
When Cora was a small child, her mother Mabel ran away from the plantation, effecting Cora’s status as an outcast on the Randall plantation. Throughout her years of adolescents, Cora defends a small area of land that has been in her family since her grandmother, Ajarry, passed it down to Mabel. When another slave in Cora’s plantation is receiving a punishment beaten from the Terrance Randall, she protest and ends up getting beat alongside the slave for being outspoken. A transfer slave, named Caesar, sees Cora’s silent need for freedom and asks her to flee with him; after weeks declining his request, Cora finally says yes and they leave in the middle of the night. As they are leaving the primacies of the plantation, another slave named Lovey accompanies them.