Sarcasm in Nature

Inspecting the second image provided one can see a division amongst race but above all there are some differences in the two portrayals of race. On one side there is a couple seems sad about something as the man is sitting with his head down covering his face in shame. The woman seems to be trying to comfort him while holding a child which I can only assume is their child. The colors on their clothing seem dull and worn out as the background around them becomes gray and ominous as if there is an emptiness filling their void. While on the other side there is another couple with their child playing under a nice painted palm tree and fruitful vegetation surround them. The colors on their clothes are brighter compared to the couple on the left. The difference however being that the couple on the right is of African American descent. The image is sarcastic in nature as the division between the two couples is a pudgy white man stating to think of “the poor suffering African” “that while you sit under the vine of your Reform Bill and the fig-tree of our Magna Chart”. Basically while the white man is over there suffering the African American are clearly blissfully unaware of the things that plague them as a whole. Clearly the image wanted to misrepresent the African Americans in order to make those who saw it feel no sympathy for what they were going through. They wanted to paint the white people as the victims of the growing responsibilities of having Africans being imported into their land. It was forcing them to become malnourished and become increasingly difficult to maintain a job. However in Equiano’s piece clearly he remarks “I had frequently told several people, in my excursions on shore, the story of my being kidnapped with my sister, and of our being separated as I have related before”(85). Equiano’s experience of being a slave has some degree of truthfulness because he went through the experience of being taken away from his family. His inability to communicate with his family and his experiences as a slave contradicts the image placed by the people. However propaganda made it so that the “savage” people would be the ones that are the victimizers, not the victims.

-Alexis Blanco

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2 thoughts on “Sarcasm in Nature

  1. I think the most important sentence in this blog was: “They wanted to paint the white people as the victims of the growing responsibilities of having Africans being imported into their land.” I think it’s interesting that you took the stance that the Europeans are the victims in the slave trade. However, are you implying that the abolitionist movement was actually pro improving conditions for the working middle class European, not necessarily slaves? I think you analysis is an interesting one, but think it could have been teased out more so I could see the full extent of your implications. Also, I’m not sure that the quote you chose to use is working towards helping your argument in terms of the suffrage of middle class Europeans.

    Extra Credit: 21/25

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  2. The main point seemed to be, “However propaganda made it so that the “savage” people would be the ones that are the victimizers, not the victims.” because it talks about how slaves are the evil ones while European slave drivers are. I will say that it would make a stronger case if you added more information on Equiano’s experiences and/or argument for abolition of the slave trade and how it was different or similar to the cartoons.

    Extra credit 21/25

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