Character Analysis of Aminata: Book of Negroes

Topics: Literary technique, Knowledge, Literary devices Pages: 3 (1080 words) Published: October 4, 2012
The Book of Negroes by Lawerence Hill started as a story of the capture of a West African girl and her journey to become a slave. Her traumatizing experience was written with a desperate tone that was achieved through the use of literary devices such as metaphors and alliteration. Emphasis was put on the conflict between Aminata and society which helped to develop her as a hopeful character. "We walked for many suns, growing slowly in members, lumbering forward until we were an entire town. Each time, people swarmed out to stare at us. Initially, I believed that the villagers were coming to save us. Surely they would oppose this outrage. But they only watched and sometimes brought out captors roasted meat in exchange for cowrie shells and chunks of salt. Some night when they had us lie down in fields, our captors paid village women to cook for us-yams, millet cakes, corn cakes, sometimes with a bubbling peppered sauce. We ate in small groups, crouching around a big calabash, spooning out the hot food with the curved fingers of our right hand. While we ate, our captors negotiated with local chiefs. Ever chief demanded payment for passage through his land. Every night, our captors bartered and bickered well into the evening. I tried to understand, in the hope of leaning something about where we were going and why" (p. 34, Hill). In this quotation, Aminata's journey is described with a bleak and demoralizing tone. The journey of Aminata and her hostages lasted "for many suns" and wore down their hope for freedom and their faith in humanity. The hostages continued "lumbering forward" as "an entire town of kidnapped peoples," with no hope of being saved. When "people swarmed out to stare at us ... we initially believed that the villagers were coming to save us." Eventually the captives realize that the people are only interested in making exchanges with their captors. This leaves the hostages with the forlorn realization that no one would make an attempt to liberate...
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