Iola Leroy Essay

Words: 1142
Pages: 5

How does Iola’s perspective of the role of slavery and race change throughout the novel?

Social Stature
Francis Harper in the novel Iola Leroy suggests that social stature can change an individual and their views on race and slavery. These views change drastically during the duration of the novel. The character Iola is a prime example of how social stature can affect an individual and change their views on certain aspects of their life.
The cliché saying “you do not know what you have until its gone” plays a major role in this novel with the protagonist Iola. Iola grew up with an independent mindset that slavery is not as malignant as people truly believe it is. Because her father was a slave owner Iola thought there was
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After being freed from slavery, Iola began to indentify herself with the black race rather than the white. She held a permanent stand on which side of the line she wanted to be placed and stood up for everything she believes in. This is a significant change from her mindset and viewpoint of her race from the beginning of the novel. After becoming free Iola works as a nurse along side a doctor by the name of Doctor Gresham. Together they take care of injured soldiers during the Civil war. Dr. Gresham ends up falling in love with Iola and asks for her hand in marriage even after the fact that he finds out her blood is tainted with that of Negros. She, being too caught up in her new found “race”, denies him saying that it would be too difficult for them to get married. He learned to move past the racial barrier, and yet Iola was not okay with breaking that barrier. As time went on being a freed slave, Iola, grew closer to her race and began to isolate herself in a way where that’s the only thing she thought of. When it was time for her to get a job her family members told her to hold back on sharing her race to the owners and to her fellow coworkers unless it was brought up because it may hurt her and cause her to lose her job. Iola, being the proud women she was, of course mentioned her racial differences and thus ended up getting her asked to leave the jobs she had