the longest memory

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States / Pages: 4 (1177 words) / Published: Sep 14th, 2014
The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar is a compelling and tragically poignant novel set in Virginia, 1 810. The unique, fragmented narrations with its ironies and bigoted criticisms lurking in the words of many presents a definite ethical vision in which the reader commiserates with the suffering and f eels contempt for the savage. The calamity of the story and also its main ironic element centres on an old, veteran slave Whitechapel. He inadvertently causes the death of his son Chapel in the hands of the overseer of the plantation, who just so happens to be Chapel's halfbrother. Prejudice shatter s any faith of justice, equality and freedom in The Longest Memory, and acts to enhance the immorali ty of slavery and the horrible suffering of slaves. This is achieved through both the emphatic chara cterisations of the slaves, and tragedy of Chapel's death.

Societal prejudice towards Negroes has b een a widespread fact in American history. The class of slaves has been superficially judged and dis criminated against.
'It is neither extraordinary to beat a slave, nor incompatible with Christianity to wield a whip.'
Even those who considered themselves lenient slaveowners such as Mr Whitechapel, committed horrible acts of injustice.
'Do not,
I repeat, do not let me ever catch you reading
Again. If you do you will be sent away,
Far away to a place where slave boys
Die of hunger, hard work and the whip.'
All slaves have to learn to accept the fact that they are inferior. However, from some pe ople's points of views, slaves are much lower and should be considered as an investment or commodity . 'Cattle need fattening, not slaves.'
They are regarded on a totally different plane of judgement.

'I told my son that we are different from slaves in intelligence and human standing before God.'

Ve rbal irony also emphasizes the pain and suffering on the slaves behalf. By showing a contrast in the meaning of the words used and what they communicate, such as in

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Longest Memory
  • The Longest Memory
  • The Longest Memory
  • Longest Memory
  • The Longest Memory
  • The Longest Memory Text Response
  • The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar
  • The Longest Day
  • The Longest Day
  • The Longest Memory: Techniques and Structure Used to Illustrate Points of View