The Planter's Northern Bride Analysis

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The text belongs to a novel called The Planter’s Northern Bride, written in 1854 by Caroline Lee Hentz. It describes the first time that Eulalia, the daughter of an abolitionist, visits her husband’s plantation in the South. Race is one of the most important topics of the text. Taking in consideration the fact that this novel was written almost a hundred years ago and before the American Civil War, it is not surprising to see the way that African Americans are depicted in the excerpt. Therefore, racism and slavery are very present in Eulalia’ s train of thoughts. The way that Eulalia feels about her husband’s slaves gradually modifies itself along the text. Her first impression of them, however, is one of fascination and fear as she watches them march from the fields to deposit the cotton. She emphasizes all the time the color of their skin, as she compares them to an eclipse that she feels could swallow her: “it seemed as she were watching the progress of a great eclipse, and that soon she would be enveloped in total darkness”. The stories that she had heard about slaves rising against her masters scare her, because she feels vulnerable and unprotected from them. It si also interesting that they are not shown working, but leaving the fields. As Sterling A. Brown points out, “there is very little reference to Negros working in the fields … they are generally described as ‘leaving the fields’ ”. One of the most significant ideas that appear in this excerpt is the
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