Africana Studies. Essay Example

Published: 2023-08-02
Africana Studies. Essay Example
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Slavery Character analysis Books
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 921 words
8 min read

The setting of the two novels is about slavery, and how the lives of the characters being talked in each one of them have been affected by past actions of slavery. Slavery causes trauma, which can be very dangerous to the mind and has negative effects on the thinking and operations of the affected. In the middle passage, the story talks about a freed slave who has run away from a forced married into a ship that is going to Africa to fetch more slaves. At the same time, In the Bridge of Beyond, is a story of a woman who has passed through so many troubles from the effects of slavery but has a lot of hope and strength that she believes is from the nature of women from her lineage. Both protagonists in the stories have passed through so much trauma but use it as life's teaching and motivation to pass each day and make the best out of it at the end.

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In both stories, the protagonists used their memories to keep strong and persevere through difficult situations. In the bridge of Beholding the protagonist by the name Telumee remembers how the women of Lougandor were proud and how strong they were even in the hardest times of slavery and she uses that memory to gather more strength for herself to navigate through the hardships that she is entitled to in the community (Schwarz-Bart, 2013). The memories that keep coming into her mind are very powerful, and the author was clearly shows that Telumee had positive energy towards the bad memories and the traumas which motivate her instead of putting her into grief. In the case of Telumee, the use of memories as a healing vehicle was depicted in the essence of using negative memories and turning them into positive energy, which at the long learn helps her achieve her contentment and happiness (Schwarz-Bart, 2013). In the middle passage, Calhoun, who has escaped from getting married, gets into a ship that Is going to capture more slaves and gets into hardships and the life of slavery that he was not used to, which becomes very hard to him ((Johnson, 1998). There are fights, deaths, and many shortcomings in the ship, but all those happenings are seen to have enlightened Calhoun and opened his eyes, and also given his life a better meaning.

Trauma is one of the themes that has been used in the stories by the authors, and the responses that the characters portrayed in the stories towards the psychological wounds and spiritual that have been caused by communities, war, traumatic events, and violation of human rights but in this case its slavery which violated the rights of the enslaved and the harsh conditions (Johnson, 1998). Both protagonists were put through in different phases of their lives is the vehicle that has led them to the healing that is seen in both of them. The trauma theory was a very effective way to showcase memory as a vehicle of healing because only the traumatic happenings of the past or present could have been used in order to depict the responses of the individuals towards them and the process of healing (Schwarz-Bart, 2013). In the two stories, the authors were able to depict the human mind as very strong, showing the protagonist's capacity to endure and make crucial choices during very trying moments in their lives. In the bridge beyond Telumee’s husband becomes a drunkard after lack of money and a bad harvest and later brings another wife, making the latter decide to leave (Schwarz-Bart, 2013). Her grandmother later dies, but all the misfortunes do not lose any interest in life as she grieves a little and gathers all her strength from the memories of the strong women of Guadeloupian, this is because her memory conditions to the fact or have clear memories about how a woman from that tribe should never give up (Schwarz-Bart, 2013).

In the middle passage, the memory has acted as a vehicle of healing again when Calhoun discovers that Isadora is also aboard another ship and is also being forced into marriage. I the many discoveries and mix-ups that has been brought about in the ship Calhoun was able to come in terms with the internal conflicts that he had about his personal life such as the anger he had towards his father and also his brother, which leads him to be able to care for other people as well as loving them (Johnson, 1998).

The memory receives and stores information and experiences of a person, and the main purpose is to retain them so that they can influence their future actions. In both stories the memory has been Cleary used as a vehicle for healing as both protagonists have been passed through traumatic situations in various stages of their lives, which has made them brainstorm, make decisions and rely on their memories to persevere and come out strong and gain their happiness at the end of it all (Schwarz-Bart, 2013).


The authors in both stories used the trauma theme to showcase how human memory has a big impact on the actions, reactions, and outcomes of individuals. The protagonists in both stories have been seen to recur important occurrences and status quo in their lives, which has enabled them to have a happy ending, which depicts that the authors were able to use memory as a vehicle of healing in the stories.


Schwarz-Bart, S. (2013). The Bridge of Beyond.Johnson, M. (1998). Middle Passage.

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