Lynch urged the slavemaster
to divide the old from the young, the light skinned from the dark skinned, the short from the tall--the same divisions that the class was grappling with in the first weeks of school.
Christiane Bougerol has emphasized the way slavemasters
Beatrice is the mixed-race daughter of Francis Chancy, a white slavemaster
. The opera relentlessly drives its way to its horrifying conclusion with all the impetus of classical tragedy.
While human rights are designed to protect and recognize life, slavery degrades both the slavemaster
and the slave.
The book is filled with biblical allusions--from the party at Sethe's house that turns into a scene of the feeding of the multitudes, to the "tree" on Sethe's back (imprinted by the slavemaster
's lash) that recalls the crucifixion, to the book's deeply meaningful epigram, from Paul's letter to the Romans: "I will call them my people, which were not my people, and her beloved, which was not beloved." The characters obviously have deep lives of prayer, and live into their relationship to God with seriousness and with joy....
(8) Of course, this more calculating image of the slave owner is also a far cry from the image of the slavemaster
as a kindly and just father, which was a powerful myth in the antebellum South.
These remarks were echoed closely almost 120 years later when Malcolm X wrote that "[t]he white man's brains that today explore space should have told the slavemaster
that any slave, if he is educated, will no longer fear his master.
He triumphantly evades her with fire, a bid for liberty which looks back to the fires lit at the Tolbooth door, and forward to his rebellion against his slavemaster
. The Whistler's progress to a life of savagery among American Indians is perhaps the ultimate way of saying nothing to a civilization founded on betrayal.
Both games, for example, involve issuing and following commands; just as the builder commands his assistant to move slabs, so too the slavemaster
Schoolteacher commands his pupils to line up Sethe's characteristics on the "correct" sides of the page.
In other words, a lyric such as "down by the river" had less to do with the river Jordan than it did the notion that "the river" in question was probably a means by which one could evade the slavemaster
's dogs since they usually couldn't smell what was immersed in water.
What developed was a Christian religion of the slavemaster
that emphasized belief in the Incarnation.