The Longest Memory

804 WordsNov 12, 20124 Pages
The Longest Memory – Fred D’Aguiar The Longest Memory is a novel by Fred D’Aguiar, which has many different underlying themes and ideas communicated through it, but all relating back to two main themes of the book. These themes are Racial Superiority and the opposing ideas of Slavery and Christian Values. The date in which this novel is set (early eighteenth century) was a brutal and a seemingly amoral time. The white population at that time had deemed it just to enslave African peoples, whom they had caught or lured onto slave ships and brought back to America. In 1861, there were 15 slave states, which agreed and consented towards enslavement. There were many arguments for and against enslavement. Most of the reasons for enslavement…show more content…
A quote, which shows how people chose to become ignorant of the circumstances, can be found in the chapter ‘The Virginian’. It reads: “It should not be possible to treat a slave with Christian fairness and instruct him in the Christian faith as a just substitute for his pagan practices, without mollifying the relationship between master and slave. It has to be. Otherwise Christianity would not be able to spread. Otherwise the African would be deemed our equal simply because he shared out faith in one God and the Afterlife. We both know of the above to be false because of the evidence of how Africans live in their Primitive Land.” (p.111) The idea of race suggests that observed differences in cultural and social status are the product of biologically based differences among major ethnic groups. Out of that distinction the idea of racial superiority was evolved. In the majority of the population’s eyes at that time, the African race was inferior. They were seen as primitive and un-evolved. This was also another justification for the white populations, to both the governments, to uphold slavery as it was seen as a part of nature, and it also justified the idea to themselves. It was an excuse and a rationalisation for their actions, and an explanation to their own morals and Christian values. D’Aguiar also, in his novel, uses techniques to further explain his story and themes. He uses techniques such as looking from each different
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