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Mary prince

the topic of how the body being deteriorated has been a common topic in class. Not only how the body is literally broken down but how the body is consumed. Consumption of the lower class plays a common role in The History of Mary Prince. While working in the salt mines, Mary Prince’s body physically is being destroyed and broken down by the  continuous contact with the salt. Even when the slaves have noticeably open wounds and blisters  all over the human flesh, they are still forced to work. When the slaves work with these conditions in the salt mines it can be assumed that their flesh is also being broken down and falling into the salt that will be packaged and sold to consumers. So inevitably the consumers of the salt are as well consuming  parts of the slaves that helped to produce it. In previous texts that we have read we talked about how when upper/middle class had in any way consumption of the poor or lower class, it was considered disgusting and horrid. However in Mary Prince we see that to only do the people in her community play a part in consuming her flew, but so do the children of their future.  Mary Prince breast feeds her masters children which is direct consumption of her body. Her milk which is coming from “the inside out” is the necessity of life to the upper classes children. It’s almost ironic that the slaves help the people who will eventually become the slave owners to be nurtured and taken care of till adulthood. it made me think of how the slaves are creating their own nightmare, obviously not by choice. 

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3 thoughts on “Mary prince

  1. I agree that through Mary Prince we see the slave being slowly and painfully consumed. I also went back and read the historical post that someone did on the Salt Mining, which after reading this narrative seemed to help give a bit of historical context to the subject. It is interesting the way in which Sarah points out that not only is the slave being “consumed” or used up, it is done within the mining of something that will likewise be consumed. We often see Mary Prince describe being treated along the same lines as beasts (which are also a consumable), but it also seems to go beyond a physical degradation. We see her describe moments of being dehumanized by being stripped, regardless of whether a man, woman or child when flogged. This dehumanization shows the psychological break-down or “digestion” of the spirit of these slaves.

  2. yeah its ridiculous what the slaveholders use the slaves for like breastfeeding and then they make comments about how they won’t “allow a nigger man’s clothes to be washed in the same tub” where their clothes are washed. So you force one of your female slaves to breastfeed your child – literally in-taking the milk from one of your slaves, but they can’t let their clothes come together in the wash.

  3. That was odd to me to Cj! You would think to the owners, the slaves milk would be unclean or not good enough for their pure breed children right? More diseases or infections can be spread through direct consumption of their milk (not to mention that if they had a disease due to lack of nutrition and hygiene which was probably the case that can be transferred) than by having the two clothes mix.

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