Hannah Crafts and Race

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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When Hannah Crafts began writing, The Bondswoman Narrative, she definitely had an underlying agenda which is apparent throughout the text. This novel is one of a slave woman and the decisions she chose in order to beat oppression of her gender and race. Craft used narrative logic in the story to understand the nation's identity and ideas in her time. The fact is that Pre- Civil War United States, American was shaped by the dehumanizing effects of racial caterogizing. Race has always been the central theme of the gothic tradition of American romance and these "traditions" continue to shape the future of America.

The history of violent entanglement of master and slave, a violence that speaks of the physical cruelty as well as the shaky basis of a master's white house. Craft suggests a connection between the master's beating and sexual abuse of slave women and the tarnishing of the family tree.

"The servents all knew the history of that tree." Hannah reveals that though the portrait gallery tells the family history to the public, it is the tree itself that tells the family history to the slaves… implying the black blood mixes with the whiteness of the family.