This repression and ill-treatment yielded psychological disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and caused some slaves to harm themselves and others. There are even accounts of mothers killing their own children to save them from being separated and enslaved. In order to cut costs and prevent rebellion, slave families were separated at the whim of their slaveholder. The possibility of separation was an ever-present threat to any and all slaves. The principle of partus sequitur ventrem meant that any child born to a slave woman would be also be a slave, regardless of who the father was.
One similarity that is apparent is that they can be regarded as symbols of the great mother because both of them lead their roles as a protective and possessive mother. However, Sethe in Beloved can also be seen as symbolic of the African mother who is fundamental in depiction of motherhood in Morrison’s novels. With the power to create and destroy life both Sethe and Eva make the cruel decision to end their children’s lives. Morrison depicts these acts in a brutal manner in order to convey the seriousness of the situation and to convey the frustration that arises as a result of racism and the heritage of slavery. Morrison reveals the side of motherhood most authors would be reluctant to portray.
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 short story is used to show the problems that circle people of a mixed race, and how these people are being treated wrongly. Kate Chopin uses foreshadowing, symbolism, and imagery to reveal the misplaced social perception of race. Kate Chopin uses description that provides the reader with evidence of foreshadowing that being black on the Aubigny plantation is little better than being dead. This is apparent when Desiree’s mother comes
However, she mostly focused on explaining the mental problems of slaves caused by physical abuses. She and many other slaves suffered greatly from being denied their basic human rights, such as men and women were not allowed to marry, women were often required to sleep with their masters, and their children were sold to other owners, so families had to be separated. Therefore, the author emphasized that the mental cruelty of slavery was as devastating as its physical
Toni Morrison is the most important contemporary women novelists and critics in African-American Literature.The descriptive-analytical method of study by analyzing the situations, the characters and themes, the status of women in Literature are revealed and represented. Morrison very well describes how different women characters react and respond differently to the injustice and the inhumanity imposed on them in African-American society. African American writers are concerned with the lack of literature fostering strong female models. These women are bonded by their journey to overcome the internalization of controlling patriarchal perceptions and images of women, like the repressive stereotypes that permeate literature. Toni Morrison use of binary oppositional characters, mirrors, inversions, and metafiction, to deconstruct the stereotypical roles of both men and women, underscoring the role that literature plays in creating self-identity problems when women try to imitate fictional characters.
Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements, theories and philosophies which are concerned with the issue of gender difference; it also advocates equality for women and campaigns for women’s rights and interests. Feminist theory is associated with the analysis and explanation of women’s subordinate social situation. It seeks to analyze the condition which shapes women’s lives and to explore cultural perception of what it means to be a woman. In the early twentieth century there were some important feminist thinkers: Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) and Betty Friedan (1921-2006). Like them Rokeya also appeared as a strong voice of feminism.
Sethe is the female protagonist in Beloved. She lost her mother at a very early age and she too is a slave. She was brought to the Sweet Home Plantation as a slave where she marries Halle Suggs and bears four children from him. She as a slave suffers a lot inhumane treatment at the plantation by the white masters. She is thrashed hardheartedly and milked like a cow.
In the book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs, she tells the story of her life as a slave and how she was able to eventually gain her and her children’s freedom. Through out the book she recounts moments about her life, many of which show how cruel slave owners were to her, her children, and her fellow slaves. Many memories, such as in Chapter 15 “Continued Persecutions”, show how manipulative a slaveowner can be towards their slaves and how the slaves are suppose to stand idal while these disparities happen right in front of them. Jacobs recalls when Dr. Flint visits her and just his presence in the room is enough to make her very confomfortable, “The doctor came to see me the next day, and my heart beat quicker as he entered...He seated himself and looked at me with withering scorn”. Not even saying a word, this man has Jacobs uneasy and her children fearful.