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The book of Negroes
Transcript of The book of Negroes
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After struggling with being enslaved, Aminata attempts to find out who she is.
Aminata shows great nobility, when choosing between life and death. She looks to the future to stay optimistic on her freedom.
In the novel The Book of Negroes the main character Aminata Diallo is an 11 year old girl, who was abducted from a small village. She was then sold as a slave, for the majority of her life. The journey she undergoes is unspeakable to most, yet she never turns the blame or hates the Caucasians.
One’s nobility can save lives, when the challenge of death arises.
Aminata’s kidnapping results in her struggle for freedom, identity and self worth. When enduring the harsh conditions, she was hastily thrown into, she chose positivity. Although characters can choose to present themselves in different ways, each individual coping in their own manner.
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Through her noble actions, Aminata stays positive about becoming a independent African women. She faces many struggles in order to escape her captors,yet her strength continues to shine through. She gains freedom, by using her inner strength and determination.
In this quote she understands sometimes in life to gain what you need most, you must be wise. Her thinking has brought her very far, and has kept her living throughout the tough life she has been brought into. She craves freedom, yet for this to happen she uses her experiences, in order to make the best decisions for herself. For Aminata to gain independence, she cooperates until she sees the best chance, she will then take her shot at freedom
Aminata stays optimistic, to keep herself going. Looking to the future, for when she can be free
Aminata is a quick learner, in both educational purposes, and as well as learning how to handle things best in life. In order to gain her freedom, she is wise in when to fight and when to sit back. Aminata thinks to herself “I had learned that there were times when fighting was impossible, when the best thing to do was to wait and to learn” (Hill, 379-380).
“Many times I could have died, yet I was here still, now on the precipice of yet another journey” (Hill 517)
In this quote Aminata has just succeeded after yet another hardship. She knows there will be a start of another tough time, and another after that, but is aware, that to gain the independence she deserves she must persevere through each and every one of the misfortunes thrown at her. She believes she is still living for a reason, and that reason relates back to her own freedom.
Aminata faces many situations in which death, could have consumed her. Through her nobility and strength she is able to fight for the freedom she deserves.
Aminata was kidnapped at a young age, unable to figure out who she truly is. With no parents or family to help along the way, she struggles for a sense of identity. Having difficulties figuring out who you are, can drive a person to the brink of death. Yet being honorable from where you came from, can help along the journey.
“Some say that I was once uncommonly beautiful, but I wouldn't wish beauty on any woman who has not her own freedom, and who chooses not the hands that claim her”(Hill, 4)
In this passage Aminata is called beautiful, yet she does not want to be beautiful as she is not her own person. She struggles with the concept, of identity as she believes she cannot be her own person as long as she is someone’s possession. Yet little does she know, she is her own person and this is prominent throughout the novel. The audience sees Aminata as a strong independent woman, who has herself figured out.
During the novel she encounters someone who is not African, and she seems confused. Again curious about who she may be as a person.
“She asked why I was so black. I asked why she was so white. She said she was born that way. Same here, I replied”(92).
Aminata states she was “born that way” as well. Which proves she has come to terms with her identity. As an audience we watch Aminata grow to be a strong independent women to the people around her, yet she struggles within herself with who she truly is. When in reality she is just over thinking, she is confident in her phrases when speaking about herself. She has found her identity and has not realized it.
Aminata searches and struggles for the concept of identity throughout the novel. She believes she has a purpose to live and she must become free, signifying she has an idea of who she would life to be once independent. As readers we watch as she slowly pieces her identity together, without realizing it herself.
Throughout the journey of Aminata’s life she is faced with one of the most important concepts of them all; self worth.
In the beginning of the novel Aminata knows where she stands, and is confident in who she is as a person. Knowing where she belongs and what she is worth a person.
“I remember wondering, within a year or two of taking my first my first steps, why only men sat to drink tea and converse, and why women were always busy. I reasoned that men were weak and needed rest”(13).
Aminata states that women were above men in her home country, due to the fact men were “weak and needed” rest. As a women they did a lot of the work, but she knew what she had meant to each and every person living in her home town. She reasoned she was needed, by her family , friends and loved ones.
Later in the novel, Aminata struggles with her self worth. Becoming enslaved and being stripped of her dignity, takes a toll on her thoughts.
“Locked inside this pen, naked and sore and bleeding, we stood tight in the sandy soil that stank of urine and feces.” (Hill 75)
In this phrase the slaves have been treated inhumane. Standing in “urine and feces” Aminata questions herself worth. She stands naked before her captors, making her feel degraded and less of a person to herself and the people around her. Aminata’s self esteem is brought down due to the horrible ways she is treated, due to the fact she is African.
Although she struggles with her self worth and value, she never exchanges her life or morals. She stays noble throughout the novel, which keeps her self respect in line as we follow her journey. Aminata never hates the Caucasians who enslaved her, showing her self worth is more than they deserve. Although she loses parts of her self worth, she does not compromise who she is as a person.
When in a life and death situation, one’s nobility and strength can be the difference in living and facing the after life. Throughout her journey we watch Aminata struggle with freedom, self worth and identity. She is a strong independent women who faces these challenges with her chin up high, never letting things affect her to the point of giving up. Aminata stays optimistic, and noble throughout the novel ensuring she will make it to the point of freedom. After reading, we see the horrendous things she is faced with. Could you persevere through the things she did, while keeping a positive attitude?
By: Kyra Lee