Christian Rhetoric in The History of Mary Prince and Second Class Citizen

1789 Words 8 Pages
Christian Rhetoric in Mary Prince’s The History of Mary Prince, and Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen

It is true, perhaps, that women are the subset of humanity whose rights had been the longest stripped of them, and who had been abused the worst and for the longest time. Even today, many people believe that women still do not have the equality that ought to be afforded them. Since women first started making steps to approach that ideal equality, they have used various means, including literature, to further their cause. Both Mary Prince’s The History of Mary Prince, as well as Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen, use language of Christian rhetoric to simultaneously cast their characters and themselves as sinners and the
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Another way that Prince establishes a sympathetic connection with her readers is by drawing parallels between her and The Messiah. At one point, Prince states, “I was soon surrounded by strange men, who examined and handled me in the same manner that a butcher would a calf or a lamb he was about to purchase” (7). Here, she compares herself to a lamb; which is an animal that Jesus was often compared, and is even directly called the “Lamb of God.” In the story of the Christian faith, there is not a single person more righteous than Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, in creating a near subconscious comparison between him and her, as well as putting herself in contrast to the “wicked,” she establishes in the mind of the reader her position as the redeemed in the eyes of the reader.
Like Prince, who creates negative imagery to establish her position as a righteous figure, Emecheta also uses subconscious Christian rhetoric in order to stimulate a positive association towards her in an audience composed mostly of Christians. She does this in order to create an empathic connection between her and the reader. At one point, Emecheta says, “all the passengers stood one at a time, at the plane’s door, waved the final goodbye to their folks and then disappeared into the bowels of the whale-like monster they called the
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