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Attitudes toward Slavery

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

 

Stedman’s attitude toward slavery has been the subject of scholarly debate for decades.  By almost all accounts he loved slaves themselves and his Narrative treats them with an implicit dignity often unseen in his place and time.  His relationship with Joanna is seen as evidence of this, a relationship “of romantic love rather than filial servitude”[1]  However, others are quick to point out that while modern readers might understand its worth to the abolitionist, Narrative is an ethnocentric text which defends slavery.[2]  Stedman’s sympathy for the suffering slaves, expressed throughout the book, is obfuscated by his attitude toward slavery itself, which was “complicated, its representation strongly affected by the revisions.”[3]  These critics argue that his criticism was toned town, his advocacy for slaves’ rights made more explicit.



[1] Thomas, Helen. 132.

[2] Gluasser, Wayne.  77.

[3] Sollors, Werner.  202.

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