Essay about Racial Tensions in New England

Essay about Racial Tensions in New England

Length: 2232 words (6.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Historical fiction, generally, exposes readers to a historic event through a new lens—often from a first-person perspective. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, by M.T. Anderson, does a remarkable job illustrating a unique, though fictional, perspective of the revolution in New England through the eyes of an experiment: Octavian Nothing. While written with an adolescent audience in mind, Octavian Nothing offers great insight to the transitional period between racial attitudes in American society for all readers. Through the narrative, readers uncover a raw illustration of the evolution of historical prejudices and tensions in New England—specifically, pertaining to the usages and intellectual capacities of Africans—that is portrayed in documents from the general time period.
The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano is a first person account of the hardships and struggles of an enslaved African, written during the 1790s. Equiano’s narrative dominantly focuses on the implementation of slavery and comments on both the institution of slavery and the conditions of slavery. Most importantly, Equiano displays societal customs, like, for instance, the practice of viewing human beings as a commodity for purchase and sale. As Equiano struggles to gain his own freedom, he works within the slave system. While Equiano has a sense of self, he neither demonstrates a sense of self-worth in other slaves nor a notion of natural rights for slaves. In fact, Equiano seems to expect slaves to be treated poorly, which distinctly diverges from his viewpoint that freed slaves should be treated with more dignity and respect. Equiano’s realization and dismay with the condition of freed slaves provokes his mind so that it is “opened…to a new scen...


... middle of paper ...


...orks Cited
Anderson, M T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Candlewick P,
2006.
Carr, Jacqueline B. "A Change "as Remarkable as the Revolution Itself": Boston's
Demographics, 1780-1800." The New England Quarterly 73.4 (2000): 583-602.
Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa,
the African. London: Penjuin Books Ltd, 2003.
Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina P,
1982.
Rush, Benjamin. "An Enquiry Into the Influence of Physical Causes Upon the Moral Faculty."
American Philosophical Society. Philadelphia. 27 Feb. 1786. 8 Apr. 2008
.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Racial Tensions in South Africa Essay

- History of South Africa South Africa has large varieties ethnic backgrounds; unfortunately for them none of them are allowed their chance to shine because of the cloud of racism that has over shadowed their history. Like the United States, South African countries are built for the success of whites before any other ethnicity. This can be found in the countries politics and economics alike. For over 300 years this racism has occurred. Around the 1940’s South Africans have coined a policy for this racism, “apartheid”....   [tags: Racial Relations, Racism]

Term Papers
1382 words (3.9 pages)

New England and Chesapeake Bay Colonies Essay

- By 1700, differences in religious convictions, wealth, and climate transformed the New England and Chesapeake Bay colonies into distinct societies with markedly contrasting cultures and values. Having fled England because of religious persecution, the Puritans placed a greater emphasis on religion. In contrast, the Chesapeake society, consisting mostly of men who were affected by the primogeniture laws, placed more importance on wealth and land. The climates of the two societies fostered distinct economies and new cultural practices, such as the tobacco wives in the Chesapeake region....   [tags: chesapeake society, new england, puritans]

Term Papers
670 words (1.9 pages)

Racial and Ethnic Tensions Essay

- Learning Assessment. I completed all chapter/assignments. I participated in the Collective activity as well as my M3 Written Assignment 1 - Analyzing a Historical Topic. My topic was Racial and Ethnic Tensions. Again I was astounded by what I learned verses what I thought to be true. I believed that ex-slaves had it the worst of this time. I came to find out that is was generally any minority had it bad. America was struggling over being able to define equality and freedom, to some that meant you were just no longer owned and to others it meant to have all the freedoms and rights of every man....   [tags: analyzing a historical topic]

Term Papers
571 words (1.6 pages)

Applying the Kotter Eight Step Change Model to New England Wire and Cable

- Companies are not unlike species, they must both change with the current environment or risk becoming extinct. Charles Darwin succinctly states this idea, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change.”1 In the case study, “Other People’s Money,” in the scene presented there is a proxy vote going to take place by the shareholders of the New England Wire and Cable (NWC) Company. But, before the votes are casted both the Chairman of the Board and patriarch Andrew "Jorgy" Jorgenson and the potential majority shareholder Lawrence "Larry the Liquidator" Garfield are afforded the opportunity to deliver speeches to the body of...   [tags: New England Wire and Cable]

Term Papers
1921 words (5.5 pages)

Racial Tensions in Wide Sargasso Sea Essay examples

- Racial tension is a major theme in “Wide Sargasso Sea”, with the mix of whites and blacks and white/blacks in the novel creating a cut-throat atmosphere which creates a hazardous place for Jamaica’s denizens. Many racial situations occur between whites and blacks, which Americans are use to due to the dangerous troubles between blacks and whites in the 1950s with a clear enemy: the whites. But Rhys tackles a more important point: an overall racial hostility between everybody living in Jamaica during the novels time period with no one to blame....   [tags: Wide Sargasso Sea Essays]

Term Papers
1179 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Use of Allegories in A New England Nun

- Use of Allegories in A New England Nun    In "A New England Nun", Mary E. Wilkins Freeman depicts the life of the classic New England spinster. The image of a spinster is of an old maid; a woman never married waiting for a man. The woman waiting to be married is restricted in her life. She does chores and receives education to make her more desirable as a wife.          This leads to the allegories used in this short story. The protagonist life paralleled both of her pets' lives, her dog Caesar's and that of her little yellow canary....   [tags: New England Nun Essays]

Free Essays
1725 words (4.9 pages)

A Fever in Salem: A New Interpretation of the New England Witch Trials Essay examples

- The author of this book has proposed an intriguing hypothesis regarding the seventeenth-century witchcraft trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Laurie Winn Carlson argues that accusations of witchcraft were linked to an epidemic of encephalitis and that it was a specific form of this disease, encephalitis lethargica, that accounts for the symptoms suffered by the afflicted, those who accused their neighbors of bewitching them. Though this interpretation of the Salem episode is fascinating, the book itself is extremely problematic, fraught with historical errors, inconsistencies, contradictions, conjecture, and a very selective use of the evidence....   [tags: New England Witch Trials]

Term Papers
685 words (2 pages)

Essay about Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s A New-England Tale and Hope Leslie

- Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s A New-England Tale and Hope Leslie - Opening Doors for Women Limited opportunities for women to share their opinions publicly throughout the Nineteenth century caused an abundance of females to communicate their ideas through writing. Catharine Maria Sedgwick was among the first of American authors to publish historical and other fiction. Much of her work deals with the role of white women in society, especially involving the Cult of Domesticity or True Womanhood....   [tags: New England Tale Essays]

Term Papers
3303 words (9.4 pages)

Jane Elton's Identity Conflict in Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s A New England Tale

- Jane Elton's Identity Conflict in Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s A New England Tale In her article “‘But is it any good?’: Evaluating Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Fiction,” Susan Harris provides methods and criteria for examining Women’s Fiction in what she calls “process analysis” (45). To apply Harris’ guidelines to Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s A New England Tale, I must first “acknowledge the ideological basis of [my] endeavor” (45) as a feminist/equalitist critique of the text. Furthermore, I identify the three-fold approach that Harris describes as historical, in distinguishing early nineteenth-century from mid- to late-century attitudes, rhetorical, in labeling Sedgwick’s communicat...   [tags: New England Tale Essays]

Term Papers
2005 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Life Alone in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's A New England Nun

- Life Alone in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's A New England Nun It is hard to imagine a life in American society without first picturing marriage in a church, white picket fences, and babies. Life alone for those who turn from marriage and children can be seen as a promise of loneliness. Yet choosing not to get married or to have children does not mean unhappiness. In the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh: “There is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before” (qtd....   [tags: Mary wilkins freeman New England Nun Essays]

Term Papers
1478 words (4.2 pages)