Why Is Nat Turner's Rebellion Considered An Atrocity

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Kyle Baker’s esteemed graphic novel, Nat Turner, depicts Nat Turner’s rebellion: a rebellion in which an enslaved person, Nat Turner, retaliates against the people who enslaved him and so many others with acts of violence. Such graphic novel depicts Nat Turner’s rebellion as incredibly violent and gruesome, but can it be considered an atrocity? The rebellion, in accordance with our class definition, is considered an atrocity, but ultimately, it is not an atrocity in relation to other atrocities.
An atrocity must involve something larger than an individual isolated event. Therefore slavery is an atrocity as a result of the larger social system at work, but Nat Turner’s rebellion is not because it was a single distinct incident. In class, we
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I believe that Nat Turner’s rebellion as a whole, collective act was justified in every sense of the word, however there were moments where the violence was cruel, even atrocious. There are aspects of Nat Turner’s rebellion that are atrocious because they are cruel. For example, Nat Turner recalls an moment of the rebellion where “Mrs. Williams fled… but was… overtaken [by members of the rebellion] … who brought her back, and after showing her the mangled body of her lifeless husband, … was told to get down and lay by his side, where she was shot dead” (Turner 148). The purpose of the rebellion was to rebel against the people who enslaved them with the use of violence. The murders were rebellious, however some of the more unnecessary acts of violence were more than rebellious, they were vengeful. Most of the murders happened quickly, without noise so that they were systematic and calculated. However the murder of Mrs. Williams was less than systematic: the members of the rebellion could have killed her while she fled, rather than dragging her back and forcing her to see her husband’s dead body. This example of violence emphasizes the atrocious aspects of an event that can still not be considered an atrocity given the justification of the
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