“The Book of Negroes” by Lawrance Hill
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In the novel “The Book of Negroes”written by Lawrance Hill, Aminata, the main character, seems to be troubled with death. Why should she live so long and what supported her to go through all these difficulties? There are many factors that make her live longer than the others. The main reason for her to survive and be a better woman is the pride instilled in her mind. Pride can be a postive aspect of humantiy that can lead one down to a successful path. To begin with, pride can help one to gain the image of one’s own identity and search for inner self. In “The Book of Negroes”, Aminata is proud of being a free-born Muslim, and she believes that she belongs to nobody. It is her pride in her own religion, and her own country that makes her constantly fight for the freedom, equality and justice for all the slaves at her times. After living there for ten years, she rejects to be perceived as a British citizen. Other characters such as Georgia and Mamed are proud of their identites as British citizens. Theywere born in Britain not in Africa. They have better knowledge of the English language than other slaves from Africa. However, they are search for their identities in Aminata who looks familiar to them. Mamed could see the resemblence between Aminata and his mother.
Therefore, they taught Aminata about the western culture as well as the survival skills at workto build up their own identity. In addition, Alex Haley, the author of “Roots”, shows how the strength of the human spirit to overcome challenges comes from pride in one’s heritage. The protagonist of Roots, Kunta was born in Africa and later was captured by the white slavers. He takes his pride in his own heritage and religion, so he refuses to become a Christian, and continues to pray to Allah. Likewise, he tells the other slaves his name is Kunta Kinte, not Toby, the name given him by his original master. Kunta teaches his daughter about his heritage, including his life in Juffure and many words in Mandinka. He never gives up his own identity despite the hardship he encountered. Additionally, pride can help one to regain one’s confidence and delvelop one’s self-esteem. Aminata is a quick learner, so she is proud of being able to read, write and speak in English. She is also a capable midwife in her neighborhood. These skills make her stand out among the other slaves and help her survive.
As a result of her education, she is taken on a different path that is more promising. She continuously looks for a positive side in every situation and maintains her hope that can lead to the freedom. Fomba, in “The Book of Negroes”, is a most miserable character, because he was already a slave in Africa prior to coming to Britain. Hence, he has no pride in himself, he dares not to speak and has trouble in communicating with others. His inability to follow instructions almost leads him to the border of the death. After being found that he is talented in hunting, Fomba begins to resume his pride and make himself useful for bringing whatever fish he has netted. Everyone enjoys his addition to the cooking pots. Therefore, it is the pride that helps him to find his confidence and make full use of his skills. Finally, pride can give you an everlasting beauty and make you the strongest of all. In the Book of Negroes, Aminata’s father once said: “Beauty comes and goes.
Strength, you keep forever.” What made Aminata extraordinary and charming is not her physical appearance but her inner confidence and pride in her own identity and her own wisdom. Mamed found her impressive because of her ability to learn the work and the language very quickly. Mr. Lindo, the inspector of indigo for the Province of South Carolina, found her book-keeping and writing skills very useful. Mr. Clarkson, a lieutenant with the British Navy, found her unique because she was a competent assistant. After all the horrible experiences she has gone through, she becomes the strongest of all and lives in peace. Pride endows her with beauty, strength and a lively intellect. Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, has always dressed himself in a casual attire. His clothing contains bright airy shirts with vivid colors not buttoned up, suit and tie. These styles of clothing always brought him a sense of freedom and uniqueness to an area that is reserved. And he has always been proud of who he is and received pride and respect from others. In conclusion, pride is a feeling of satisfaction which a person possess. Pride is a sense of the respect that other people have for one, or that one has for oneself. Pride can play a positive part in finding one’s own identity, developing one’s confidence and making one beautiful externally and internally.