Essay about Honor And Slavery

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Pages: 10

Critical Essay

Honor and Slavery

Perhaps one of the strongest elements of slavery is honor. Honor has had a wide range of impact in history, whether it was shaping major dynasties and hierarchies, deciding an individuals’ role in society, or family ties and marriages. This sense of worth, high esteem, or virtue was also manipulated by slave masters in order to control their slaves. “The slave could have no honor because of the origin of his status, the indignity and all-pervasiveness of his indebtedness, his absence of any independent social existence, but most of all because he was without power except through another” (p 6). This element is not just a physical force, such as coercive power, which one can heal and
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Finally, Phelps seems to send the message that he is not any less of an Englishmen than those who were not captured. There seems to be an honor of being an Englishmen that Phelps wants to preserve. If anything, he has more appreciation for his motherland. By proposing this, he has an understanding of liberty that most people in England don’t have. If anything, he is more of an Englishman than before! This voice is used by Phelps to appeal to his countrymen that he is not a slave by origin. On the contrary, Phelps came from the lineage of fellow freemen of England. “In a word, slavery is so strange a condition to England, that to touch its soul is ipso facto manumission, and the generality of the people have but little heard and less understood the miserable state which the most part of the world is now subject to” (p 43). His advice to the reader is simply to be proud that one is in Great Britain. “My design and aim in all is to excite with me the praises to our God the only deliverer, who hath delivered me from a cruel and severe captivity; and withal to stir up thy grateful resentments for the happiness , peace, and freedom that thou enjoyest under so excellent and well tempered a government” (p 53). It is clear from this that Phelps managed to maintain and retain his honor as described by John Stuart Mill as being “that feeling of personal exaltation and degradation which acts independently of other people’s opinion, or