Sunday, December 14, 2014
At the end of the first chapter in part 2 (my edition doesn't have chapter markings?!?) Stamp Paid has a pretty pseudo-philosophical segment on the dehumanization of slavery to blacks and whites alike. This reminded me of similar statements expressed by... I think it was Fredrick Douglas? We talked about it in history class. The basic idea is that by subjugating blacks ("the jungle whitefolks planted in them"), the whites became afraid. Stamp Paid says that "scared were they of the jungle they had made". In this context, was schoolteachers calculated and scientific method of treating his slaves an expression of his fear? Perhaps he thought that if he could completely understood everything about his slaves then he could protect himself from "the jungle". And what is the jungle? Ingrained resentment on an extreme magnitude? Barbarism? The description that Stamp Paid gives of the jungle: "swift unnavigable rivers, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood" has a very "Heart of Darkness" feel to it.