"Obi, Or", "The Story of Three-Fingered Jack"

William Earle portrays a picture that is mythical for such characters like Jack and Amri whom he uses as a true embodiment of the inherent legacy of heroism, violence, and vengeance as well as justice. From the outset, the story of Jack starts on a fable-like note in which he is destined to carry out the required revenge for the death of his father while still in the womb of his mother, and right from the time of his birth, Jack appears to uniquely differentiate himself from the other slaves.

To this aforementioned effect, it is stated that “Jack had a soul, even in infancy, superior to such whining as the other slaves,”  and his “youthful fiery soul led him to imagine himself the destroyer of all Europe,” in which Jack was “nearly seven feet in height” and as such, he “would with ease perform the office of any two negroes within the plantation”.

As it will be established later in the paper, the aspects of both the bodily and psychological violence are brought out in the text in which the affected personalities are out to seek for their justice using such unorthodox means like revenge.

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For instance, it has been put forward that “One poor negro woman remained behind she was faint and could not walk, but she was mercilessly dragged along by two guides, with whips in their hands, who every now and then spirited her with a lash.”  This aspect is a true depiction of physical bodily violence on a woman who was “at length, exhausted, worn out with fatigue and bruises, she sunk down and expired”.

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The character of Amri who was “a beautiful slave, the property of Mr. Mornton, of Maroons Town”  represents one of the people on which the misfortune of violence was leveled upon in the text. The acts of violence meted out on Amri makes her to grow increasingly vengeful and “sanguinary in her temper; for, misfortune, or rather cruelty, had perverted a heart naturally inclined to virtue”. The form of violence that Amri faces as a slave makes her to be torn from the loving arms of her family members, her husband, and friends during what has been put forward as the peak days of her life, away from her native Africa. Through the son she brings forth, Jack, Amri wants him to avenge the death of his father who lost his life through cruel hands and the acts of violence. To accomplish her vengeance, “she had vowed to curse the European race for ever; and had a son, in whose breast she never failed to nurture the baneful passion of revenge”.

Jack is taught by his mother a means for despising the act of complaining under the labor of their masters, and submission to the so-called the Christian whip as well as the groaning compassions. The enslavement of the people in the plantations represents one of the areas from which increased violence was experienced by most of the characters in the story. Through the toils of the day in the plantations, laborors were whipped and lashed until one was left weary and exhausted due to the hard work and physical exploitation. “Returning from his labor to the small hovel, where he and his mother dwelt, after a heavy day of toil, he threw himself weary on the pallet of straw where he reposed”. This aforementioned aspect depicts bodily violence on the workers in the plantation such as Jack. The question of seeking for justice comes in when Jack’s mother encourages him to fight for their rights and justice, probably through revenge.

Amri is quoted as saying, “my son, now is the time arrived when you should contend for the rights of yourself and mother. Now it is the time when you should revenge my cause”. In essence, Amri requires of Jack to revenge the injuries that were experienced by her through the acts of both bodily and psychological violence when he reaches his maturity years. She goes on to state that “you are arrived to maturity, and, to inspire you to revenge my injuries, I will relate the misfortunes of my life”. From the accounts presented in the reading, the injuries meted upon the people represent the act of bodily violence, which is a form of violence that is clearly distinct from that relating to torture of the mind, affecting the mental well-being of the characters in the story.

The aspect relating to psychological violence in demonstrated in the book through the loss of Marko, the husband to Amri. As derived from her narrations to Jack, it appears that she was emotionally attached to her husband, and his of loss of life in a cruel fashion amounted to psychological violence on Amri. She says, “I loved him, and he was a great friend of my father, so that our nuptials were soon solemnized”. The apparent relationship between bodily violence and the psychological violence is presented in the text in which the bodily violence often results in mental disturbance and unsettling of the mind.

In the development of the accounts of the story, the acts of violence performed by the narrator’s fellow countrymen are highlighted, and such unhuman treatment affected both the children and their parents physically and psychologically alike. The unfair treatment of the plantation workers as well as their families was justified by the idea that the people were slaves, and so had to be treated in a similar way to animals. For instance, the narrator puts forward that “there are thousands here that have hearts like rocks. Children, from their birth, tutored to inhumanity, and treat our fellow creatures worse than the dogs that lick the morsel beneath their table”. This unfair treatment of fellow humans represents the psychological violence which has been seen to be accompanying the bodily violence.

For instance, the slaves who included various prisoners of war and individuals who had been dragged out of their families “were torn from their homes by the infamous Slatees, and obliged to travel, fatigued and hungry, over sandy desert, till they came to a proper market where they were sold like cattle, and dispersed over the world”. Increasingly, the agony that come with the physical or bodily harms and injuries that were carried out on the people in the story hurt their feelings, and as a consequence amounted to the psychological violence. The narrator paints the picture of increased violence when he states this concerning a mistreated woman, that “her guide giving her a curse or two, accompanied by a few blows on the insensible body”. Such kicking of bodies with blows did not only leave behind bodily harm, but also had psychological impacts.

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"Obi, Or", "The Story of Three-Fingered Jack". (2022, Jan 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/obi-or-the-story-of-three-fingered-jack-essay

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