The reporter describes Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 1881) as Mother Seacole or Mary Grant, offers a vivid account of her experiences as a Jamaican nurse in her autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands (1857)…
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However, unlike Nightingale, she was confronted by the crude realities of racism all through her career as a nurse. The work by Seacole has attracted immense readership and critical thought in the recent days and it is generally regarded as one of the fundamental works dealing with various subjects. As Harriet Washington, in the Foreword to the work, maintains, “Her memoir, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, is the part exotic travelogue, part historical and sociological document, and in large part a vivid medical treatise replete with tragedy and triumph.” (Washington, xi) Therefore, this work has contributed to the development of critical thought in various fields including travelogue, history and sociology, and medicine and nursing. In a reflective exploration of the autobiography by Seacole, it becomes lucid that the narrative and stylistic strategies used in the account help the author in convincingly conveying her message in the cultural, social, and political contexts of her historical period. This paper makes a close critical analysis of one of the important passages in the work, beginning “It was late in the evening . . .” and ending “prayed for it”, in order to uncover how the narrative and stylistic strategies used in the account help the author convey her themes more persuasively to the readers.
Significantly, Seacole’s work has been recognized as another fundamental work in the rich genre of medical adventurism. At the same time, it is celebrated for the enthralling account of battlefield bombardment and heroism to its political acumen and for the poignant human story of the passion for healing and discovery. “In it, a lone woman of color without resources other than her own wit, good nature, and sterling reputation dismantles the merciless race and gender stricture of her time to follow her dreams.” (Washington, xi) Therefore, through the nineteen chapters of the celebrated work Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, Mary Seacole offers a vivid account of the limitations and struggles of a Jamaican nurse who overcomes the ruthless race and gender restrictions of her time.
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