How Contradictory…

It all comes down to pro and anti slavery, right? But how can we answer a question where present, are tremendous points of contradiction?  In both of these pictures and in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, as literary analysts we are struck with this very question. In Lean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricatures, there is sarcasm written all over this image. Although it is a little difficult to read the letters, a picture can say a million words right? In the middle of the image there is an overweight man, who looks indignant to the situation he is presenting to the public as he stands in a barrel. On the left side we have a  tax paying white family, who is struggling to have a prosperous life. This white family is illustrated with sadness, you almost want to sympathize with them, but all three are well clothed. On the right side we have an African American family who are living a prosperous and great life. What is particularly interesting about this image, is the way African Americans are illustrated, their lips are enlarged, don’t have shoes on, a savage like look in their eyes, the child isn’t fully clothed, and are illiterate.Yet at the same time are having the time of their lives. The white male in the middle is turning his head towards the white family, but is looking at the African American family like “you guys are more than capable to help them, can’t you see they are struggling!”

I have concluded, this is also a anti-abolitionist view. As there are scattered papers and books on the floor titled “Horrible Punishment”, “Brutal Outrage”, “Slavery!!!”, “Anti- Slavery Reports”, and “Reports”.  Yet, they all look like blank papers, coincidence? I think not. To tie it in with The Narrative of the Life of Olaudah, when Equiano is purchasing slaves, he emphasizes to have a certain kind because they are of his kind and are taught to work hard. It is very similar to this picture, those who are able to help, should because that’s how they were raised, and that’s how they live.

Viviana Ojeda

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3 thoughts on “How Contradictory…

  1. I think the main point of this blog is: ” It is very similar to this picture, those who are able to help, should because that’s how they were raised, and that’s how they live.” I think this is an interesting point you raise that the image is almost implying that the African family is almost “obligated” to help the “struggling” European family. I think that this blog could have benefited both from having this point expanded upon and from having textual evidence added for Equiano’s narrative.

    Extra Credit: 20/25

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  2. I believe the main point in this blog is, “But how can we answer a question where present, are tremendous points of contradiction? In both of these pictures and in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, as literary analysts we are struck with this very question.” because it brings up a valid point. This is a problem that many writers have had to go through when dealing with a similar debacle. I do think that you should talk about Equiano and the cartoons a bit more only because you talk more about the questions than the actual text and pictures.

    extra credit 20/25

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  3. There is truth in this that we should have no sympathy for those that play the blame game. I like the consolidated view. Textual evidence is needed however. 😛

    EC 19/25

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