Ann Yearsley

A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-Trade

  • Addresses the city of Bristol, the city where the people of England are bought and sold
  • “Christian slaves” – thought of as not having any religious background
    • Animal Farm by George Orwell: some are more equal than others
  • Interesting juxtaposition of slavery and Christianity, for any reason it is not right
    • The English slaves were enslaved by the Romans, but now they are doing the same thing
  • Immediate social effect – because of its sharpness
    • Lactilla: the milk maid, giving a name to personify the identity of slaves
  • “strong rapture dies with a soul, while power/drags on his bleeding victims”
    • Good as well as bad when it comes to the customs and the laws, which can be wrong even if people firmly plant their belief in it
    • Feel enslaved to follow the law because people don’t think about it
  • Challenging the idea that the slaves expressing “I will die with my master”
  • Speaking to the audience who would read reasonably
  • Everything intone with nature, hearing the voice from the natural beings – the inhumanity of slave trade is especially ugly to the Romanticists
  • Empowering to see a woman poet writing about many social issues
  • The naming aspect of the poem
    • The Indians, the Africans, the specific people, events, and feelings
    • Huge relevance to the outside
    • Allowing the rebellion that restrain of emotions need to be broken
      • The women are visciously attacked when writing about social problems
  • The violent ending of the slave narratives
    • Passion cannot save the ones in danger
    • “Where is your true essence of religion?”
    • Converting the slaves in to Christianity, but the religion perpetuating is not religion
      • World based on the demeaning of others
  • Starting with religion, but ends with “social love”
    • “whilst wealth/Is made subservient to his soft disease” – destroys the idea of religion with avarice
  • Capitalism is based on slavery? Therefore even if it is immoral it was unstoppable.
    • Response:
      • Religion as a huge part of the system back then, the shroud of immoral doings – from Abigail
      • The people who are silent are the ones dragged along with the religion – from Jenny
      • Free market and its implications
      • Evangelizing slaves…?
    • Ann Yearsley is not necessarily criticizing the essence of Christians, but a socialist belief focused on a human-figured god is not woking well because of the privilege they assign themselves. I personally take the entire event of slave trade is planted in the ideologies of Christianity, while Christianity covers the ugliness of it
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