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Closer to Freedom - Book Review Example

4 pages
887 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Book review
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This piece of writing serves to describe the central argument that is made by the author of the book entitled closer to freedom. The document includes an explanation on how the author proves her argument, the contribution of the book to historical literature, description of the author's sources that prove the argument and the challenges and reinforcements made by the author on the issue of 19th-century slavery.

The concern of slavery is the main aspect discussed by the book and the author states that despite the fact that slave resistance is a critical issue of historical questioning, and requiring extensive research, very few materials on the same idea will be provided, and therefore scholars have to learn to scrutinize the available documents and provide an analysis of the situation of the nineteenth century. This argument seeks to disregard the research on small acts of resistance which has been described by scholars such as James Scott as presenting a substitute view to of the scope and nature of slaves in their struggle of freedom from their superordinates. The provisions of scoots research are embedded on weapons employed by the weak such as tool breaking, feet dragging and flight to disrupt productivity and even the breaking of plantation temporal rules (Vinthagen, Stellan & Johansson, 40).

The author Stephanie Camp describes how the actions of forceful promptings upheld limitations to the efforts of enslaved individuals. Camp also illustrates the effect of space on enslaved men and women and how it contributed to the creation of room for family affairs, rest and amusement. This space refers to rival geographies such as woods, swamps, and neighboring farms. The aspect of flight or absenteeism is presented as a case of represented resistance to the spatial censures enforced by the slave patrols (Vinthagen, Stellan & Johansson, 40).

Slavery resistance according to camp was exhibited in many different scenarios. In her very first argument, Camp explains that time and space intersected when women slaves minimized their reproductive labor. This is elaborated further as the transformations of the few hours women were given for rest as used in carrying out their activities which included making and mending clothes. This is presented as a form of resistance as since the individuals were put their labor on their benefits rather than to the importance of masters and mistresses. In this perspective, women were involved greatly in the overt oppositional activity.

In a different scenario, the women body was the first line of attack as those who made for themselves third bodies were sites for pleasure and resistance. In this manner, they helped create a rival geography which assisted other in short-term absenteeism (Camp, 70). Women were also involved directly in abolitionism by fighting certain rules and upholding criticism of overseers and slave patrols. Women made most known accessible places to resistance zones by having mockery pictures such as Abraham Lincolns picture hanged in their houses. These actions cannot be described as simple acts of resistance as they could cause significant incitement to rebellion in the enslaved labor force. Due to this notion of evident resistance and the awareness of alternative antislavery, the slave master developed a fear which trickled down to women captors as more women captives would result in a dangerous desire for freedom. [California has an idea that she is free. Goes and comes and does as she pleases and therefore infuses a good deal of these feelings and notions in her childrens heads (Camp, 101).]

Camps work is a clear representation of the actions of resistance by enslaved people. This book serves literature purposes in that it gives an account of actions that took place in the nineteenth century in a manner that conforms to the setting environment and the characteristics of the individuals involved. It presents the events as they deemed useful over the period and accounts or the actions as they took place with the consideration of their overall effect in slave abolishment. This book presents all resistance acts small as they were and effect in the literal and spiritually drive to freedom. The major aspects offered by the author that is space and time can be related to the simple actions that took place in this period and therefore presents a methodological approach to slavery freedom.

The author applies the implied effects of the small resistance effects in the behavior of superordinates to present the influence of the action in reduction of women abduction. The book reinforces James Scott research on weapons of the weak by putting more emphasis on the effect simple acts of resistance to the fight in the abolishment of slavery. The book expands on the significance of time and space provided to women slaves to the overall resistance of slavery. In this perspective, it, therefore, provides a different notion and influence on the interaction of space and time in the creation of spatial strictures for resistance. The book challenges scholars with the idea that small acts of resistance present a different scope of the struggle for freedom and serves to show that the strategies were crucial in slavery resistance.


Works cited

Camp, Stephanie MH. Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South: Easyread Super Large 18pt Edition. ReadHowYouWant. com, 2009.

Vinthagen, Stellan, and Anna Johansson. "Everyday resistance: Exploration of a concept and itsheories." Resistance Studies Magazine 1.1 (2013): 1-46.


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