Book of Negroes Essay

Topics: Promised Land, Sentence Pages: 2 (765 words) Published: March 6, 2013
One can gain knowledge in order to break free of the power structures of oppression. In “THE BOOK OF NEGROES”, Lawrence Hill illustrates the theme of knowledge and power through the use of tropology and structure. Knowledge has power and it controls the access to opportunity and progression. Today we have an opportunity for everyone in the world to have access to the entire world’s information, however back then people had to strive to get knowledge. Knowledge itself is power. In the book of Negroes, the protagonist used this power in a right way, which led her to achieve success and ambition in life.

Lawrence Hill uses illustrative structure to emphasize on knowledge and power, one of the main themes in “THE BOOK OF NEGROES”. The author uses visual structure to tell that Aminata was taught how to read and write, when she was a child. Aminata says, “So, in the privacy of our home, with nobody but my mother as a witness, I was shown how to use a reed, dyed water and parchment. I learned to write in phrases in Arabic, such as Allahu akbar (God is great) and Laa ilaaha illa- Lah (There is none worthy of worship except God)” (Page .11). This quote is eye catching, because of the structure used in the quote. Whatever Aminata is taught to write is written in italics. This shows the importance of knowledge as her parents tried to pass on their knowledge to her, which later on in the novel helped her alot to survive the tough journey. When Aminata asked an old man for a newspaper and he reacted awkwardly as he thought that Aminata did not know how to read. Author uses aural structure to show the old man’s reaction. Aminata says “I got up from my chair and asked if I might borrow his newspaper since he wasn’t looking at it. “What”. I repeated my request. The man let out a guffaw. ‘You kin read, kin ya?” (Page 450). In this quotation words like kin, guffaw and ya make the sentence sound awkward. The man’s reaction was awkward because he thought that Aminata was...
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