Research Paper: Critical analysis of The Known World

Sample Research Paper

The concept and the tradition of slavery and the treatment given to the slaves have been given pivotal focus. They build the very foundation on which the entire story of the book is laid. The different characters and the plots have been molded accordingly to portray a true-to-life scenario and lifestyle of Virginia prior to the war.

The plight of the slaves, especially those of African-American ones, has been skillfully expressed throughout the book.  The slaves, despite being freed at the will of their masters or breaking the bondage themselves, were, in reality, near able to eliminate the oppression imposed on them by the society. The greatest victims were the African American downtrodden class who suffered at the hands of the whites.

The book illustrates states a concept that the manner in which the slaves or the subjugated strata of society are dealt with depends a lot on the masters. Henry Townsend was fortunate enough to have a master who helped him rose to the status of a master himself. Townsend also believed in treating his slaves with kindness.

It is well purported in the book that the slaves wanted to break from the bondage. The more brutally they were treated, the more rebellious and stubborn they became. Even those who were being treated well by their masters did not want to live under the umbrella of a downtrodden class. They wanted to breathe free and be independent. They tried in whichever way they could to end the social stigma surrounding them and their social status. The slaves who were freed by their masters, often, were faced with a glass ceiling which prevented them from elevating their economic standing.

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