The Aspects Of Symbolism In The Coming By Daniel Black

813 Words 4 Pages
Marty Rubin says: “Behind every mask there is a face, and behind that a story.” Daniel Black’s The Coming is a novel based on the torturous history of slavery. The novel describes in brutal detail what our African ancestors went through during the Middle Passage in addition to the auction of their own bodies. In the novel, Black takes his readers through a journey in the past during the Atlantic Slave Trade. The Coming is unlike other slavery related novels because although it is fictional, it creates an image of what slavery was like for the African people. However, The Coming is not just all about the negative aspects. In the novel, the African people are strong and loyal to one another. They do not hesitate to help each other through their …show more content…
When the Africans are first captured on the ship, the novel mentions a woman who never fails to deliver inspiring messages to other Africans to remain strong, steadfast, and most importantly alive (Black 22). The woman feels as if it is essential for the Africans to know how important it is to forget about the pain and stay alive. The Africans know it is very important to survive slavery, so they may tell their story one day. This mask that the enslaved Africans wear help them remain alive and sane; therefore, the enslaved are forced to conceal their true feelings. Because the enslaved constantly wear a façade to conceal their deepest emotions, they are soon accustomed to pretending to be at ease. The mask is significant in The Coming because it serves as a disguise for the slaves’ deepest emotions, so that they can survive the agony of …show more content…
In Part One of the novel, the narrator describes Abuto, an enslaved man: “However, there was no hatred in his silence; only clarity in his eyes revealing that he would never, ever be another man’s captive” (Black 32). In this section of the novel, readers note that the enslaved people refuse to be another person’s servant. Abuto knows he cannot be another person’s slave, but he is determined to survive the journey. Abuto survives because he pretends to be subordinate to the captors even though he strongly disagrees with the captor’s actions towards his people. The Africans’ willingness to be subordinate to the captors illustrates their strength throughout the horrible passage. When the African slaves began to create rhythms, the narrator says: “The sound was so intimidating they dared not to try to stop it” (Black 37). In this part of the novel, readers notice the rebellious attitude the enslaved have towards the captors, especially when they all act in unison. This rebellious attitude is proof that the slaves only pretend to be inferior to survive and describe the horrors of slavery. In Part Two, the narrator says, “They thought they’d won. They believed they’d finally achieved our submission. They were wrong” (Black 58). The enslaved people know exactly how to trick their captors. When the enslaved Africans dance,

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