Iola Leroy Essay

1152 WordsOct 8, 20135 Pages
How does Iola’s perspective of the role of slavery and race change throughout the novel? Social Stature Francis Harper in the novel Iola Leroy suggests that social stature can change an individual and their views on race and slavery. These views change drastically during the duration of the novel. The character Iola is a prime example of how social stature can affect an individual and change their views on certain aspects of their life. The cliché saying “you do not know what you have until its gone” plays a major role in this novel with the protagonist Iola. Iola grew up with an independent mindset that slavery is not as malignant as people truly believe it is. Because her father was a slave owner Iola thought there was…show more content…
I never saw my father strike one of them. I love my mammy as much as I do my own mother, and I believe she loves us just as if we were her own children. When we are sick” (Chapter 12). Iola’s mindset is fixed in this mindset and refuses to see it any other way, due to the way she grew up around slavery. After her fathers death due to Yellow fever, Lorraine took over the families estate claiming that the marriage between her mother and father was invalid, and thus meant their family due to their “tainted” blood must become slaves. Alfred sought out Iola and brought her home, on her journey home she thought she was going to see her father who was on his death bed, but turns out he was already dead and it was a trick to get Iola home to send her into slavery. Iola’s sister had also become sick and run herself down, she ends up passing as well due to what is said to be Yellow Fever. When Iola returned home her mother explained the situation and told her about their racial background and that now they were going to have to live a very different life style. Iola is shocked by this news and almost in denial she proclaims to her mother, “Oh, mother, it seems like a dreadful dream, a fearful nightmare! But I cannot shake it off “(Chapter 12). Marie in response to Iola’s claim of this new lifestyle as a dreadful dream says that she almost wishes for her children to be ill and die free than be forced to see her children as slaves. Iola then
Open Document