Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 3 (946 words) Published: December 2, 2011
Serena Crowder
October 13, 2010
AFAS 342-002
Yuxuf Abana
“It was a common enough tale; no one would think it a paradox.” From the very beginning, it is extraordinarily easy to step into the mind of the main character and narrator Manon Guadet and how the world she lives in becomes an eerie reality. Deeper throughout the novel, there are many themes presented through Manon’s eyes. Through the use of many paradoxes, the themes of racism, gender oppression and marriage in Property, by Valerie Martin is ultimately connected with the institution of slavery in America. The aristocratic life of the early 19th century is defined in the use of these themes through the pictures they create. Not only do the themes cause the novel to become so gripping, but the characters help in the suspense as well. Each character is presented to be believable and very developed, adding to the excellent sense of reality that the novel gives off overall. Property captivates its readers and enables them to place themselves within the character and makes it easy to relate to the character’s feelings and emotions. Valerie Martin’s Novel Property is an immersing and captivating story of Manon Gaudet, the wife of a slave owner and a slave, who is the mistress of the slave owner. The story takes place in the early 19th century deep within slavery, on a sugar plantation in Louisiana. While reading, the author, Valerie Martin steers you through the lives of both, Manon Guadet and her slave and servant Sarah. Both characters being incredibly unhappy with their lives for very different reasons, but the reasons end up becoming ultimately similar. Mrs. Gaudet unhappily lives married on a plantation to a man that she despises and cannot love. Sarah, the slave to Manon, unhappy due to the simple fact that she is a slave, and had been raped a multitude of times from her owner, which has ended up in Sarah conceiving two unwanted children by Mrs. Gaudet’s husband. The drama between...

Cited: * "paradox." Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 13 Oct. 2010.
* Martin, Valerie. Property. New York:      
Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, 2003. Print.
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