Honor And Slavery : An Integral Part Of Slave Society Essay

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Honor was a big deal in the south, and it was an integral part of slave society. There are many different meanings to the word honor in the South at that time. In the book Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing as a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, The Pro – Slavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South, “Every puzzling action or statement analyzed in the book relates to honor, and since Southern gentlemen defined a slave as a person without honor, all issues of honor relate to slavery.” (xiii). There are “…three ways in which men of honor distinguished themselves from slaves; they would never allow anyone to call them liars; they gave gifts; and they did not fear death.” (xiii). In this book, Greenberg is trying to tell the readers about the honor culture in relation to the slave culture.
In the Old South, it was important that people we saw at honorable people . It was a big deal if someone told a lie because their respect and honor was at stake. Like in the incident of the Feejee mermaid, it did not matter whether or not mermaid was real or not. What matter was that people who had written about it or talked about it wanted their names still treated with the utmost respect. In fact, if Southern men thought they were being insulted that was grounds for a duel. The whites in the Old South saw no connecting between the words honor and slavery. “The words of the master had to be accorded respect and
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