In The Autobiography Of A Slave Analysis

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In the Autobiography of a Slave, Juan Francisco Manzano (1797-1854), a former mulatto slave, captures the unjust and horrific events of Cuban slavery during the nineteenth century. Cuba needed a large slave population to work on the islands various sugar mills and plantations to maintain its economic status. As a child, Manzano avoided the typical life of a slave labor because of the Marchioness Justiz de Santa Ana. She allowed to lead the life of a young intellectual, which caused him to feel a strong connection to Cuba’s white dominate population/ In 1809, his mistress died and the young boy began to experience the harsh reality of slavery that forever changed his perception of life. Thus, his desire and struggle for freedom erupt on the …show more content…
In the beginning of the text, Manzano illustrates the power of the master/slave dichotomy through very clear examples of power. His first mistress introduced him to the arts and allowed him to attend church, but he would be removed if he distracted the other children. Thus, the Marchioness controlled every aspect of his life and could take away the luxuries that he enjoyed at any single moment. The Marchioness de Prado Ameno demonstrates how the master controls the life and death of a slave. She changed the way Manzano lived his everyday life because she placed him in many different situations. At first, he served his mistress in the home, but she later sent him to a sugar mill and other places. She controlled how he interacted with the environment around him because she always kept him at her side. Thus, the complex nature of the master/slave dichotomy illustrates a power struggle between the two parties. Manzano regained his agency by writing his autobiography because he told his part of the story. This allowed him to express his anger and pain, but it also served as a method of revenge because he exposed the horrid nature of …show more content…
Slavery affected every aspect of Cuban society because it was deeply embedded social foundation of the nation. Manzano does a beautiful job of articulating this message to his audience because he breathes life into every individual. The narrative informs the reader that Cuban colonial society possessed different binaries that placed people in different social structures, but it also leaves the reader questioning what happened to Manzano after his ordeal. How did he meet Del Monte and gain his freedom? Correspondences between the two individuals note that they met and Del Monte liked his work, which led to some publications. However, it causes the reader to wonder how Manzano viewed their interesting relationship. Historians know that the second part of the text was lost during translation, which may have been done on purpose. However, the reader wants to know how one man rose above all else to defy a system that placed him in a subordinate

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