Closer To Freedom: A Literary Analysis

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The three previous works we have read for this class have all had at least one thing in common. That being that they wanted to focus our attention away from the typical information and narrative of History we are used to and shift it towards areas that have been previously over-looked and under examined. The two that I found to be particularly interesting in both their thesis and the way in which their respective authors set about arguing their points are, Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women & Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South by Stephanie M. Camp and Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson by Joshua D. Rothman. In these books both authors are very successful in bringing further thinking …show more content…
Camp’s book, Camp’s primary concern is treatment and daily life of enslaved women during the antebellum era throughout the plantation south. She does not, however, just want to examine generic aspects of enslaved women she in particular wants to examine the various forms of everyday resistance enslaved women used protest their bonds. Early on in the introduction of her book she writes: “Turning our attention to the everyday, to private, concealed, and even intimate worlds, is essential to excavating bondwomen’s resistance to slavery because women’s history does not merely add to what we know; it changes what we know and how we know it.” It is apparent to see that Camp believes that by studying these forms of everyday resistance that slave women used then we can have better, more rounded sense of how all slaves dealt with and or opposed their …show more content…
He focuses on darker moral aspects that follow with the pursuit of the success that the popular “American Dream” promised possible to all those willing to take a chance. Rothman lays out in great detail how in a frontier settlement like Vicksburg and all of Madison Country, Mississippi people would turn violent to protect their interests. He lays out how in a place like this with so many slaves and a low slave owning population that was so stressed from the fear of financial failure the fear of a slave uprising was very high and very real. Then in another part of his book Rothman explains how the hysteria in the area at that time led to other instances of mob justice being used to reach the end of a goal. One specific example of an event like this can be seen by the ban and beating of gamblers in Vicksburg led by William Mills in days following the revolt that never took place. Rothman does an excellent job of providing the readers with evidence to prove his point because he is able to offer up another example like the previous one, in which hysteria from a non-existent slave revolt caused people to use lynch mob justice to achieve their personal, often financially motivated goals. The example that Rothman gives is that of the events that took place in Hinds County, Mississippi, the same week as all the real and unreal events took place in neighboring Madison County. Those events were the attack and

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