In the poem, The Runaway Slave at Pilgrims Point by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Browning based the poem on past experience due to the fact her family had owned slaves in Jamaica for several generations. Once these slaves were set free in 1833; sixteen years later abolitionist repudiated the ” unjust- power of the white slave owners.” (Stephenson, 43).
With Browning rejection of her once slave owning father’s irrational authority to refuse his children to marry and leave home, this poem empowered the rage she had suppressed by years. Foremost, The Runaway Slave at Pilgrims Point is a dramatic monologue in ballad form. The speaker is a young black slave woman who has escaped from the plantation the day before her narrative begins and has to run to Pilgrim’s Point where ” exile turned to ancestors” (Cooper, 43).
Browning breaks the story into three parts. The first two parts the speaker dresses to “the pilgrims soul” at pilgrim point, (those who first come to the America as a and of freedom).
In the last part of the poem the speaker addresses the “hunter sons” of the original pilgrims who have perused her to stone her to death (Cooper 44).
... her fortunes. Through out both of these poems Browning's genius choice in speakers is very prevalent and the similarities and differences ... Duchess and Porphyria's lover, had an interesting taste for speakers of his poems. He ... 05 West Comparing speakers: My last duchess and porphyria's lover The great poet Robert Browning, who created the poems My Last ...
Furthermore, the opening “I stand” sets e assertive tone in the [poem. The speaker never falters in presenting the complexity of her situation, as a woman, a black [person], and a slave. The tone set at the beginning also aid the audience to recognize that the speaker in the “white man’s violent system” is divided by women, and black by whites.
The slave employs metaphors, which Barrett use to dramatized imprisonment behind a dark skin in a world where God’s work of creating black people has been cast away. To further illustrate this she described the bird as ” little dark bird”, she also describes the frogs and streams as ” dark frogs” and ” dark stream ripple” Through the use of her diction she convey to readers that in the natural world unlike the human one, there is no dark with bad and light with good, and no discrimination between black and white people. In essence, Elizabeth Barrett Browning dramatic monologue proved a powerful medium for Barrett Browning. Taking her need to produce a public poem about slavery to her own developing poetics, Barrett Browning include rape and infanticide into the slave’s denunciation of patriarchy.
She felt bound by women’s silence concerning their bodies and the belief that ” a man’s private life was beyond the pale of political scrutiny” (Cooper, 46).
The violence bestowed upon the slave women help Browning to exploit the slave ” triumphant cry.” Work cited Stephenson, Rosalie. ” Elizabeth Barrett Browning Poetry of Love.” Princeton: Princeton UP, 1970. Radley, Thomas. ” The Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.” Ed.
R. L. Barrett. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1979. Cooper David.
” Elizabeth Barrett Browning.” NLC 63 (1983): 379, 96. Gardner B. Tap lin. “The Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.” Ed. John Murray. London: 1972.
Ehr asm, Theodore G. ; Daily Robert H. ; and Smith, M: “Elizabeth Barrett Browning.” New York. H. Version Co, 1936.
Falk, Alice.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Hertheuses: Self-Will and a Women Poet.” Tulsa Study Women’s Literature 7, No 1 (Spring) 1988.