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Importance of Names in Lawrences The Book of Negroes - Essay Example

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The Book of Negroes is a book written for written for Africa, for the harsh sugar plantations, which underwent the harsh indigo trade, going through homelessness, loss of people and death: it is a book often described as a book of slavery…
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Importance of Names in Lawrences The Book of Negroes
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Importance of Names in Lawrences The Book of Negroes

Download file to see previous pages... Lawrence Hill through his writing techniques makes it very easy for our reading even as the heroine, Aminata Diallo is stolen from her small African village as a young girl and forced to cross the “big river”, while having to keep up with the harsh cruelty of travel through slave ship, being sold to sugarcane plantation owners in South Carolina and again being re-sold, while having her beloved husband on yet another plantation. Aminata’s husband risks his life and visits her quite often. While travelling to Nova Scotia, Aminata dreams of her child and her wishes of returning home to Africa one day. In her map, Aminata only sees Africa as composed of various wild animals including elephants and monkeys and women who are bare-breast. With her brave resistance, her skills in midwifery, reading and writing abilities and a steadfast desire to stay alive, Aminata finds the name of her homeland and travels there, finally making her last voyage to England, where she uses her life story as a sign to empower people against slave trade.
In this book, Lawrence Hill uses the title of his book “Someone Knows my name” to create a long lasting impression in the minds of his audience on the effects of slavery and how young and brave female persons resisted oppression. The story underscores a story of a female slave called Aminata and her painful journey through life and how she undergoes a series of name changing identifying circumstances just to stay afloat during the slavery days. In this book, Lawrence emphasizes that names are truly the beginning of a life’s long journey, it is what a person refers you by and it is applicable to someone’s life in very many different ways. Although names can also be common and bear significance to a certain aspect of life, the name in which Lawrence has chosen in his novel of places, people, objects and cultures bear a very practical relevance as regards to how a person perceives the other during an initial encounter. Names have a contributing factor on a person’s character and personality. The importance of names has been displayed in the novel by the various characters and personality characteristics that the author has provided to the characters. More importantly, Aminata comes out as a strong character in displaying the significance of names towards resistance against oppression. At the beginning of the story, the author describes how Aminata was captured into slave trade only to part of the resistance at later years joining the Black loyalists in their final journey to Nova Scotia, then a decade later she is still one of the thousands of Black loyalists in the Black-Africa movement who made their way into Sierra Leone. Initially, as a very young girl she rejects her father’s intentions to teach her in reading Koran. Later in her captivity, the spirit of determination is reinforced in her by observing Fanta’s rebellious behaviors, who acts as a yard stick for her determination and foundation for future involvements in resistance. Her spirit of resistance grows stronger as Bilton also convinces her in organizing shipboard revolution. Although the revolt fails and many people are killed, Amanita and others survive this revolution by sheer force of will. At the same time, the doctor attempts to rape Amanita during Atlantic crossing, but she resists and able to discourage him by threatening him using spiritual retribution saying, “Don’t do that, or my father will return from the dead to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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