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The Book of Negroes.

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maryam nadeem

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of The Book of Negroes.

The Book of Negroes Summary Section



-the slaves board the ship and are on their way to the land of the toubab

-Biton talks back to the toubab and receives whipping

-Aminata brings Fanta into the medicine man's cabin for birth

-Fanta rests in the toubab living space, the medicine man walks in on them, hands in an orange and understands Fanta will be having a baby soon

-a little bit of commotion arises between Fanta and Aminata

-Fanta's baby is born and Fanta is not amused A Word On History "The firesticks were deadly, but it seemed to take the toubabu time to use a firestick more than once." "In his musical and enthusiastic voice, he has been telling me that his wife and children have pledged to do without sugar in their tea... No one will drink from the blood of slaves." Older Technology Less rounds per magazine Ironic
Boycotting products Subject Review -she had the medicine man's knife in her hand, she stabbed the bird
-war breaks loose on the ship, toubab, homelanders and slaves were all fighting
-Fanta slits the baby's throat while people are fighting on the ship
-Fanta then takes the knife and runs behind the medicine man and stabs the back of his neck
-Chekura had his arm sliced by a sailor, Fomba was knocked on the head
-Aminata starts losing faith in God
-the fights stop and the slaves are unsuccessful with the ship take over
-they have began to land on shore and see the land of the toubab They call me an 'African'
1757
- as they arrive on land Aminata gets a glimpse of her surroundings
-lots of hardworking homelanders,
-she begins her life on the land with Biton, Chekura, Fomba, Fanta, and Oumou
-they all stuck together, even slept together
Aminata wakes up in the middle of the night to see Oumou and Biton "thrusting their loins into one another"
a ship came to the island -Aminata goes through torture just to stand straight
-the captives began being dragged off the platform and separated
-they tortured Fanta because of her mouth
-people are getting tied up
-they began walking with no water or food or any washroom breaks
-she learns about the fishnet, and how the captives use it for communicating
-denies her African country Hope Pride Theme Statement In the novel, 'The Book of Negroes' by Lawrence Hill, the author demonstrates the desperation and impulse based decisions made by the masses of oppressed individuals. When given a small window of opportunity, the actions taken to survive are shaped through character resistance and plot development. Consequently, the choice between life and death becomes a decision of minor evaluation, primarily involving the Id, after long battles with adversity. What would you sacrifice to stay alive? Who would you betray? Is there a reason to live? can you fight something so big? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? who can you trust, other than yourself? Who would you betray? Is there a reason to live? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? What would you sacrifice to stay alive? What would you sacrifice to stay alive? What would you sacrifice to stay alive? Is there a reason to live? Is there a reason to live? Is there a reason to live? Is there a reason to live? can you fight something so big? can you fight something so big? can you fight something so big? Who would you betray? Who would you betray? would you fight for something you know you would'nt live to see the results of? What would you sacrifice to stay alive? can you fight something so big? Is there a reason to live? who can you love? who can you love? who can you love? who can you love? when do you know when to stop? when do you know when to stop? Resistance Point 1 Oppressed individuals base their survival from a emotional point of view to the point where the strongest believer even loses faith. Proof: "Perhaps it was true. Maybe Allah lived only in my land, with the homelanders. Maybe he didn't live on the toubabu's ship, or in the toubabu's land." (86)
"Allahu Akbar, I mumbled to myself. But maybe Fanta had been right. Maybe God was impossible here." (92)
"As the nights came and went, thoughts of Allah faded." (107) Analysis: In the story "The Book of Negroes", the author Lawrence Hill shows through character development who Aminata has become from being surrounded by oppressed society including herself. In the beginning of the story, Aminata is strong believer of Allah just like her father. And her father is a well respected known man who is the only man with a copy of the Quran in his town. Aminata is a strong believer just like her father, and she also began reading the Quran to follow and value the beliefs of a free born Muslim. Throughout the story, many hardships are plotted in Aminata's way and begins to slowly show how her character has developed from the beginning of the story to section two. In the first quote, Fanta, a woman whom Aminata dislikes changes her mindset of faith because of slavery. This quotes indicates that even though she knows how superior God is compared to any human being, she has that belief that God was only helping her on her land when everything was normal, but as soon as they got on the ship and the land of the toubabu, God was of no help and the slaves were oppressed non-stop. The whole idea of God being only with the homelanders back home is also ironic because God is powerful enough to be anywhere at anytime. But the oppression is so bad that it even creates disbelief of God. The second quote is also similar to the first one, but this quote is said during the massacre on the ship. The whole massacre resulted in Aminata losing faith in God once again through an emotional perspective because of oppression. Psycho-analytical theory applies well to my quote because the Aminata's Id is that she is born with faith because of her father. But as the story progresses she starts losing her hope in God which becomes less pleasurable for Aminata. Point 2 When individuals are constantly surrounded by a series of erratic events it is likely to obtain an impulse based, decision making nature. Discussion Questions 1. How do you think the story would have changed for Aminata if the medicine man was still alive?
2. In the end of the section why does Aminata deny she is not African? 2. In the end of the section why does Aminata deny she is not African? "Fanta stepped toward the railing and heaved the baby out over the waiting waters...Sanu climbed up onto the railing and followed her baby into the sea" Proof 1 "She stabbed and stabbed, until the claws stopped scraping at her and the body stopped quivering. She threw the mess back in the cage, closed the door, and covered it with the hood..." Proof 2 "He said it didn't matter if Fomba and certain others were slaves in our homeland. Here, in the toubabu's land, we would eat together. We would reveal no differences. The toubabu were to know nothing of us." Proof 3 Analysis Many times throughout the section, the reader's attention is largely focused on the events that took place on the ship. Most of which were events that could be labelled as 'the turning points of humanity'. Due to drastic events like these, it is almost predictable that the aftermath of these tragedies would leave horrendous scars on the characters.

Characters transitioning from flat, to dynamic. However, left untreated these scars flourish into every other aspect of a characters life, ultimately leading him/her to make decisions based on their impulses. These impulses affected the characters of Fanta, and Biton, causing them to develop: Extreme Aggression Fanta's 'fight or flight' reflexes kicked in which resulted in making her do whatever it took to survive.
Be it getting rid of the dependency load (the babies) so that they would not become liabilities or reasons to slow her down. Paranoia Chief Biton had automatically taken on the role of a leader for the homelanders. His previous village had christened him with the title of 'chief' which played a large role in fueling his need to take charge. Chief Biton removed all the hierarchical restraints (i.e: slave, free born, cheif) from the group, but not because of the goodness in his heart, but because he wanted to eliminate a sense of who was more powerful from the observations of the toubab.

He ensured his own survival. Does boycotting slave produced products make a difference to help the cause of the abolitionists, as Sir Stanley Hastings suggests? The chief can be condemned to ridicule and to praise. Do you believe that the chief is being strategic, or selfish, based on his actions throughout the section. The life of an individual is very clinical in nature. There is a starting period of calm, followed by excitement and fruition, adversity hits trying and difficult times precede, then eventual triumph over the adversity, and repeat. For some, this cycle defines their lives and for others, it represents their prayers. Individuals around the world have unfortunate luck of beginning this cycle but having it end in a continuous cycle trough. This adversity is so tough and reaches such a climax that when given a small window of opportunity to escape, the most drastic measure is taken. Point 3 "Two men streaked past me and jumped overboard. I cringed at the double splash. A woman overboard. And then another". (pg.91) Aminata witnesses the desperation taken by individuals to escape such an arduous life style. These people have been on this boat for several months and have succumbed to a mentality in hich death is the best option. These people that jumped over board didn't make this decision based on impulse, but rather based on long, hard thoughts during their tenure on the boat of what they would do when presented with the opportunity to escape. The choice between life and death has become so minor because the bridge between the two has narrowed so much. Their lives have almost become worse than death. The psychoanalytic theory plays into this concept because the ego begins to take control of the mind. Decisions are made based on the realistic circumstances of situations and are thought about, long and hard. If your given the choice of life and death, under the circumstances of the slaves, what would you do and why? Do you think Fanta's actions are justified? Elaborate
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