Slave My True Story Character Analysis

Decent Essays
The nature of one’s upbringing greatly determines the development of how a person perceives the world around them. The ways in which we understand the nature of the world stems from how reality is framed through in the beginning of life, and many hold onto this time of life as the foundation of who they become. In her memoir, Slave: My True Story, Mende Nazer describes the impact that her time in slavery during the early years of her life had on her personal reality as well as her own role within the world. The oppression she faced during her years of maturation not only changed her own perspective of herself, but also her past and her understanding of freedom moving forward. Slave begins with Nazer describing her early childhood, growing…show more content…
Throughout her time with Rahab and her family, as well as the young slave is persistently referred to as, “‘Yebit’… an Arabic insult, which literally means ‘girl worthy of no name’” (139). Through verbal dismissal and beatings that made her believe that, “… Rahab would come and kill [her] if [she] didn’t finish,” all of the chores she was tasked with, Nazer internalizes that she, “… shouldn't expect any fairness or kindness from these people” (165 & 150). These inhumane acts against Nazer, causing her internalization of expected oppression, led her to wonder whether she would, “… spend the rest of [her] life in slavery” (278). Not only was her humanity stripped away from her by these immoral acts, but her basic expectation for her own life became that of a slave. Nazer experienced a deeper internal struggle than simply experiencing oppression during her childhood. Her entire perception of her own reality was framed to be solely that of a slave. A reality in which there was no escape, except suicide, that could save her perceived fate. Yet, once she gained, “… the knowledge that [her] family were still alive,” she received both an internal drive and a method of temporary escape (217). Her memories of her father and family, “… cheered her up enough to face the world again,”…show more content…
While many may perceive the problems with slavery and refugees to reside specifically in underdeveloped, Third World Countries, Nazer’s story displays how ethical problems, such as slavery, reside in global powers as well. Alison Jaggar expresses the necessary elimination of the assumptive societal viewpoint of these problems in her work, “‘Saving Amina’: Global Justice for Women and Intercultural Dialogue”. Jaggar stresses that it is necessary to realize that Third World poverty, “… cannot be attributed exclusively to the injustice of… local cultures,” and that many people in these countries, “are oppressed by global forces” (Jaggar 62 & 67). Omer’s utter disbelief once he, “… discovered the full truth about,” Nazer not being paid for her service depicts how many people the ignorance that many people in countries, such a England, have towards problems within their own countries (Nazer 296). Both Nazer and Jaggar speak, through their works, directly to, “… those in the West,” that, as Nazer puts it, “often take their freedom for granted” (311). At the same time, though, both stress the importance of creating an, “… intercultural dialogue about global justice,” and ensuring that those in power understand their own moral and ethical problems just as much as those in Third World countries (Jaggar
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