Analysis Of Bebe Moore 's 72 Hour Essays

Analysis Of Bebe Moore 's 72 Hour Essays

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Dealing with mental illness is hard, but even harder when you are the one caring for a loved one with a mental illness, making you feel as though you have been condemned to a lifetime of servitude. Bebe Moore Campbell usage of slavery allusions throughout the novel 72 Hour Hold explains just how taking care of a family member with a mental illness can feel like being enslaved to their illness. Slavery allusions are used throughout the novel to describe a mother’s, Keri, struggle of taking care of her bipolar daughter, Trina, while also insinuating that she feels as if her daughter’s illness enslaved her to her own daughter. With the usage of slavery allusions author Bebe Moore Campbell creates a new reality, one in which mental illness does not only affects the person suffering but also the people around them. The purpose of these allusions are not to just describe a minority, but instead as a way to bring focus to how mental illness does not only affects the person with the illness but also their loved ones and those who care for them.
When slaves had escaped from the plantation they were kept the slave owners would release dogs into the forest to find them. In the beginning of the novel Keri is describing her morning and states, “I’m always grateful for mornings with no tremors, no frantic dogs barking”(Campbell 4). In this quote Keri references back to when slaves would be on the run constantly in fear that one day the dogs are going to be frantically barking because they have finally caught their prey. In other words, Keri uses this quote as an allusion describing how she feels as though she is the slave on the run constantly in fear that one day the dogs are going to catch up and drag her back into the world of her daughter...


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...y to get help so Keri feels as though her shackles binding her to Trina’s illness can be taken off in her relief. Another example in which Keri reveals her relief of Trina’s illness is, “But there was that cool space on the bank of the murky water where she lay on the fragrant moss, undisturbed for hours, and there was no barking, no sound of twigs snapping. A breather”(Campbell 319). In other words, Keri refers to her current relief of Trina’s illness to when Harriet Tubman would have a break from escorting escaping slaves on the Underground Railroad. From both of these quotes Campbell creates the illusion of when the caretakers of mentally ill family members finally find a moment of relief from their responsibility. For relief felt when escaping slaves finally make it to the North or when Harriet Tubman found a moment to herself while conducting others to the North.

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