Saturday, March 26, 2016

Slavery Worse Than Death

I kind of understand where Sethe was coming from when she killed her children, but I have to argue the other point for the sake of this blog post. Sethe was trying to save her children from slavery by killing them, believing that slavery was far worse than death. However, I don't think it is right that she got to decide the fates of her children for them. A lot of times parents will do what they think is "best" for their children, not realizing that what is "best" is, in fact, not the best. I recognize the fact that parents have more life experience and know more than their children and should make some cautionary decisions to protect their children...but I think the children are entitled to a certain amount of independence like their own life and death, a right that the parent should not be able to take away.

6 comments:

Jack Zheng said...

I feel the same way. Had the children grown up instead, they could very well run away from slavery. But back to Sethe's perspective, slavery would mean a lifetime of extreme physical, psychological, and sexual torment for her children. Also, reincarnation goes into play here so Sethe isn't too worried about her children going into the next world.

madison kahn said...

This is a good point you bring up about deciding their fate for them. I don't think it's right for her to just assume what's best for them. I understand she thought what she was doing was best, but again, they had no say. On a lesser scale, think about when your parents pressure you to do something you really don't want to do. You feel like you have no say in what's happening. I honestly think Sethe should have just let her kids be so that they could decide what they wanted.

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

Yeah Abbey you have actually slightly made me rethink my position. For me, I have never really blamed sethe for her decision because she believed that slavery was worse than death, and in her belief system, death is not so bad a place to be. In my opinion we have no right to say what is right or wrong since we haven't experienced slavery, but it does speak to the other side that all of the other ex-slaves in the story disagreed with her decision when I thought they would have at least slightly understood her reasoning. But I have no judgement of her choice besides the point that abbey brings up about freedom of choice- what Nietzche (bae) believes is the essential part of life. I do think that they should make decisions for their own life, but at the same time, in Slavery, that is the only choice they would have is to live or die, everything else is just following orders, so according to Nietzche ( and kinda me) is that really life??

Madison Cummings said...

I also agree. I understand that that was her instinctual reaction because of the trauma she had gone through, but I also think that if she was able to escape once, they could have escaped again. I think all of her children would have deserved the chance at life. I don't think anyone should be able to make that choice for someone else. In the movie we watched in class, Amistad, one of the slaves intentionally fell back off the ship with her new born baby. That really freaked me out because, although I understand how awful they were being treated, if it were me I would have wanted to wait out the pain for my baby and hope that things got better. I feel like I would do everything I possibly could to escape and give them a chance at life.

master123 said...

The whole topic of whether it was right or not or her choice to make about killing her child for the sake of saving her from slavery keeps making me think of the woman in the movie we watched with Mrs. Quinet. That one scene where the women slides of bord with the new born was really eye opening. The woman was witnessing the other slaves being whipped to the extrem and decide her fate and the newborns and I really didn't question it. The scene was so visual and disgusting that even though I have never been a slave or had any ancestors with that expirence I felt as though the woman in the movie was right.

Antonio Imbornone said...

I think it's important to recognize the animal/human argument in this case. Sethe's actions were in the moment and out of maternal instinct to protect her children from from the worst possible fate: slavery. Though it could be argued that deciding their fate was the wrong decision, we must commend Sethe's strength in sacrificing (for) her children.