Longest Memory

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Slavery, Slavery in the United States Pages: 3 (832 words) Published: April 28, 2012
longest memory
English Speech- “The Other”

Fred D’Aguiar’s “The Longest Memory’’ is a novel based on themes such as fate and forbidden love, and is filled with secrets and tragedy.

Place it alongside Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and you can easily identify the parallel story line and themes.

These two texts link up in a number of ways. The most obvious link is comparing the characters, Chapel and Lydia, from The Longest Memory, to Romeo and Juliet. Both young, both naive and both in love.

The meaning of “the other” is the quality or condition of being considered an outsider or different. With my chosen text, I believe “the other” is identified through society and status, as society believes these couples are opposites, where as they see themselves as equals.

Although, both parties are from different social backgrounds fate brought them together. Romeo and Juliet met at a ball, while Lydia and Chapel met on the plantation they both lived on. Both couples consider themselves as equals and race or status was never a problem and that is why they are considered “the other”

Like Romeo and Juliet, Chapel and Lydia were both “star-crossed lovers” and there love was strictly forbidden. Romeo and Juliet were born doomed apart as an ancient grudge between two families both alike in dignity, caused major disputes between them therefore the parents clearly would never approve. When the parents heard about their relationship, they prohibited them from seeing each other. Chapel and Lydia although brought up on the same plantation were from two completely different worlds.

Chapel, being a slave and Lydia being the daughter of the plantation owner Chapel’s family were slaves for. The reason for their forbidden love was the racial discrimination of Chapel being black and Lydia being white. When Mr Whitechapel saw Lydia associating with Chapel, he lashed him with his belt and warned him they were never to associate again. Therefore it was impractical for...
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