The characters in the novel hold themselves to deterministic labels that dramatically dictate their actions, attitudes, and subsequently their identity. For some characters, these identities morph them into symbolic beings. The novel starts with the story of Frado’s mother Mag. Frado’s mother resides in the disgraceful, impoverish class initially, but plummets to the unredeemable, bottommost rung of the social scale when she marries Jim, a black man. However, before Jim she had another unnamed lover of a higher social class. “She thought she could ascend to him and become an equal. She surrendered to him a priceless gem” (Wilson 5). Mag’s desire to break free of her underprivileged status drives her to relinquish her virtue, by first accepting her primary lover, then later marrying Jim, and then abandon Frado. The inclusion of Frado’s lineage plays a strong role in setting the context of Our Nig. It serves to establish the social structure of the time. In the 1800s, the North holds an unspoken, economic hierarchy; except for in Mrs. Bellmont’s case who exclaims her objections to Jack’s poor wife. “Poverty was to her a disgrace, and she could not associate with any thus dishonored.” (Wilson 63). These labels rarely change greatly, but for matters of the race no mobil...
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... world’s beats down on Blacks less physically in the modern-day, except for the police brutally incidents, but still the constant psychological, institutionalized oppression persist to poison the so call Land of Liberty.
Wilson’s novel shows first the cause and effect of a Land that allows or has allowed slavery. The same ideologies used to keep people enslaved carries on in the wake of the institution of slavery. American attempts to moves passed and forget its dark history like Mr. Bellmont, but the shadow of slavery and oppression still looms over those that hold ties to an enslaved legacy. That identity as less than human and less deserving carries with the younger generations who never experience to blow of the lash. The shadow will never lift until the average person takes it upon themselves to look inward and see how their inaction only spreads more inaction.
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