Prejudice By Markham Essay

Decent Essays
For the truly wealthy who had squandered their inheritance at home, Africa represented a new kind of playground. . . In its unknown and unmapped expanses, "man" could test himself against the elements, the animals, and time. (74)

The view that Africa was England’s piece of property was dominant during the last years of imperialism. This view ignores the pre-existence of native Africans and their home. Although Markham has friendly interactions with people of color, she clearly views them as mere occupants of the land that is now England’s. When talking about uncolonized areas of Africa, she describes them as “Villages peopled with human beings only vaguely aware that the even course of their racial life may somehow be endangered by the
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She admits this due to the fact that she is young and simply not as experienced as the older men. However, she also refers to them as “full of being men,” suggesting that the men are confident in their professions simply because they are male. She believes the fact that she is a girl does not determine her confidence. Markham still shows her confidence in her capabilities when she says she has “not much” left to learn about horse racing. However, this is not how her male counterparts view the issue. This is significant because they dismiss her capabilities and view her as less capable than they are. She further comments on gender and age when she sees a horse at the race that she was forced to stop training and sell. “His owner had listened to the argument that a girl of eighteen could not be entrusted with those precise finishing touches” (Markham 159). In the horse racing industry, Markham is not only considered incapable because of her age, but also because of her gender. However, Markham is clearly a qualified horse trainer because shortly after this statement, Markham’s horse wins the race. This victory proves Markham’s capabilities to the audience, which then furthers her advocation for gender equality. Markham writes about her relationship with the men in the horse racing community in order to bring light to her unappreciated capabilities. Writing about these relationships continues …show more content…
She achieves both of these outcomes by directing her language toward an imperial audience and by sharing her relationships with men and people of color. Although one of Markham’s overall goals for her memoir could have been to support gender equality, she ends up supporting a form of inequality because of her limited perspective on racial issues. The only stereotype she unsettles in her book is the female stereotype. She is able to achieve this because her perspective is that of an adventurous female’s and she is confident when sharing it. Therefore, she is not able to unsettle racial stereotypes because she limits the perspective of her book to herself. Because she focuses on her imperial audience, she presents the memoir with her British perspective only and undermines the voices of the Africans. Although the publication West with the Night in 1942 could be seen as a movement toward equality, Markham’s book ultimately does not observe all kinds of equality. This suggests the limitations of her cultural upbringing and her inability to recognize all perspectives in her literary

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