1. After reading Joyner’s essay I was quite shocked. His portrayal of slavery was very positive. Every account that I have ever read emphasized the horrible and terrible conditions of slavery. Joyner commented on the slaves productivity in his essay, “Most slaves were given tasks to perform according to their physical capability. Every slave was given one task per day, and if they finished that task, they were allowed to spend the rest of the day for personal recreational purposes. If they accomplished more than two tasks, they were given the following day off--commonly referred to as a "holiday." Through this system of positive reinforcement, promises and incentives created a more competitive environment in which slaves increased their actual productivity. By rewarding slaves for exceptional work, slave masters decreased the pervading sentiment of discontent (Joyner’s Essay) .” I had never even heard of the slaves receiving a break for “good” behavior. This essay really puts a different spin on the issue of slavery.
While Joyner portrays slavery as extremely effective, Fredrick Law Olmstead had quite a different opinion. His job was to go around the south and monitor slaves, masters, and their working conditions. “He depicted slavery as a wasteful and inefficient system, which degraded labor, exhausted soil, and deprived slaves of any incentives to work hard.” This is quite a different portrayal than Joyner who had such a positive outlook on slavery, calling it “highly effective.” Later, Historians realized that the research Olmstead did on this topic was in fact wrong. Contrary to his original opinion slavery was very effective.
Joyner’s essay seemed extremely positive about slavery. He felt that the slaves were well taken care of with a “sense of community,” plenty of food to eat, and allowed opportunities to have free time with “holidays.”
Solomon Northup portrays a different view of his time in slavery. He describes a day in the life of slavery as quite brutal. Slavery required you to be on the field at the “light” of day. They are required to be on the field all day long with a small break at noon to eat what Northup calls “cold bacon.” From Joyner’s essay it seemed like slaves were fed pretty well. Maybe the difference in plantations is the deciding factor. It seemed the conditions the slaves lived under was extremely different depending on the plantation and master they worked for.
Northup says this about the work load, “No matter how fatigued and weary he may be- - no matter how much he longs for sleep and rest- - a slave never approaches the gin-house with his basket of cotton but with fear. If it falls short in weight- - if he has not performed the full task appointed him, he knows that he must suffer.” While Joyner and Northup views are quite different they do agree that punishment could happen at any time. Joyner however said that punishment would be completely random and good behavior was encouraged. Northup pointed out that if they simply do not bring enough cotton they could receive a whipping.
3. Joyner really put a strong connection with the slave families. He said the slave family was a very close knit, strong bond between all the black members on the plantation. “But slave masters soon began to buy an equal amount of black women and men for their plantations in order to ensure families and hence stable slave behavior. A married male slave had more responsibility to his mate and children and therefore would be more deterred from trying to escape. Families were also beneficial to the owner because they produced more slave offspring, which secured the future prosperity of the plantation. Slaves were also granted the permission to name their own children. By doing so, African-Americans not only retained more of their African culture and roots, but also created a tight-knit generational linkage that enabled the black community to thrive long past emancipation.” It was quite clear that it was in the best interest of the slave owners to promote and encourage close knit families.
In the section titled family, it is quite interesting that it agrees with Joyner. “Certainly, many owners believed that it was in their own self-interest to encourage stable family lives. They knew that stable families raised slave morale, reduced the likelihood of slaves running away, and encouraged a high slave birth rate. Thus, many slaveholders promoted stable families by participating in slave marriage ceremonies, providing slave families with separate garden plots, prohibiting divorce, and severely punishing adultery.” While he says that a close family is beneficial, they also go on to say that the slave owners possessed any right to sell the slaves and separate the families at any point and time. After all they were considered property.
“Slavery in the Antebellum South” by Charles Joyner was a truly well written and interesting piece of scholarly work. In the article, Joyner discussed how slavery was the main institution that powered the Southern antebellum economy, how masters would keep their slaves content through the use of positive reinforcement and allowing them to marry, and how slavery ultimately led to the various black communities that would stick together even when they were granted freedom following the American Civil War. Joyner also pointed out how slave owners used Christianity to justify slavery, claiming that slavery helped civilize the barbarous Africans and allowed them to be productive with their lives. At first, the article explained how the slave masters were intelligent and good businessmen as they offered rewards to their slaves for completing daily tasks, but simultaneously, using the whip when the slaves acted inappropriately or tried to flee the plantation. On the other hand, the genius of the slaves became apparent as they formed small communities in which they maintained African customs, culture, religion, and remained unified to survive future hardships ahead of them.
I was curious as to why the triangular trade involved slaves from Africa. In the article, “Why Africa?”, “the absence of strong, stable, political units made it more difficult for smaller states to resist the slave trade.” It was also convenient to sail from the African coast to Brazil or the Caribbean because of the ocean currents and trade winds in the area near Africa. Some historians in the past had argued that the African slaves would have made better a workforce than the enslaved Native Americans because they were supposedly accustomed to the intense warm climate in Africa and that their black skin would protect them from the rays of the sun. This article answered one of the main questions a historian should ask him or herself. It is important to understand the mindset of the people in history to truly obtain a better understanding for why events occurred the way they did.
Frederick Douglass’ assessment of emancipation in the post Civil War era was also interesting to read. He explained how the slaves down South were technically free people who were entitled to American citizenship under the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. In reality, however, the South “virtually nullified” these amendments and denied blacks the rights they were entitled to. He was also enraged when he learned that slave owners allowed their slaves to starve to death rather than to free them and if slaves were fortunate enough to taste liberty, they were sent away from the plantations empty handed and with no necessities. The biggest paradox mentioned in the article was that “disloyal rebel” remained untouched and kept their wealth and power.
This article was a primary source document of the post Civil War era that touched on many of the slave issues and ironies that remained unresolved until much later on. Frederick Douglass’ assessment raises many questions about politics and if the Civil War really made an immediate impact on the lives of slaves. It also questions the purpose, ethics, and validity of Reconstruction. Douglass’ statement of fighting for “the prize” would foreshadow the emergence and mission of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
The last article I read talked about the life of another heroic African American by the name of Harriet Tubman. Araminta Ross, also known as Harriet Tubman, was a runaway slave who devoted her life to fighting the evils of slavery by leading many blacks to freedom either to the Northern States or even to Canada. It is important to note how this inspiring woman constantly put her life in jeopardy as she came back to help slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. She even rescued her weak parents by hiring a wagon to transport them to the North. Tubman was a tough woman too and stated that if anyone was too weak to make the journey and wanted to go back to slavery, she would literally have them shot on the spot as she depended on secrecy to keep rescuing African slaves. This article really shows the craftiness of Tubman and shows her compassion about her work in leading her people to freedom. The biggest question historians must have about Tubman was how she was able to lead so many blacks at a time up North without ever being captured.
This article is a valuable historical document because it allows the voice of the slave to be heard. Although Joyner’s article certainly does not shy away from some of the gruesome and inhumane conditions on plantations, his account is somewhat tempered by the straight-forward manner in which they are presented. This article, on the other hand, uses quotes either directly from slaves or from letters they wrote, which gives the reader a clear sense of the anguish they felt. It delves deeper into the trauma caused when slave families were torn apart, either through the separation of husbands and wives, or the selling of children. Joyner’s article largely depicts slave masters encouraging family life among slaves as a logical tactic in promoting stability and deterring runaways. This article then shows the other side of the equation, particularly the pain and suffering caused when black human beings were bought and sold as pieces of property.
Again, this article is valuable for the human face it places on slavery. I believe that it’s critical to not only record the events in history as chronological facts, but to preserve the individual stories which make up the greater whole. In this sense, Joyner’s account is somewhat lacking. Although he does acknowledge the violence inflicted upon slaves by their masters, violence which he freely admits needed “no real justification,” it is Roper’s words which bring the beatings to light in vividly graphic detail. Several times Roper describes the punishment meted out to him by his master for attempting to escape, and the reader sees how increasingly cruel each beating becomes. One cannot help but cringe at the idea of a man being set on fire. Perhaps the hardest passage to read describes the use of torture to determine who helped Roper free himself of the weights: “he put the fingers of my hands into a vice, and squeezed all the nails off.” Yet as difficult as it is to read, it is the audacity of these actions which help to ensure that the type of abuse suffered by slaves never again happens in this country. (This point is further driven home by the picture on Joyner’s page by Robert S. Starobin, which show the thick, gnarled scars on a black man’s back after having been whipped.)
“James W.C. Pennington”
It’s beneficial to read this man’s narrative because it offers a glimpse into the life of a child born into slavery, an area which is not addressed in Joyner’s article. Although Joyner does touch on the formation of extended black families and communities, noting that “out of misery and oppression, a group of people found their comfort and stability in forming racial bonds and ties,” he does not specifically concentrate on the role of children in these families. Pennington, on the other hand, details the isolation and fear inbred in a slave child for as long as they can remember. From parents who are unable to adequately pay attention to their children, to overseers who delight in torturing them, to the superiority of the young white masters no older than the slave children, nearly every facet of their lives is confusing and frightening. What makes this an even more interesting piece to read is the fact that the author is both intelligent and well-spoken; after learning of the neglect and horrors of his childhood, one cannot help but marvel at the obstacles he had to overcome and just how impressive his accomplishments truly are.
1. The document titled, Justifications of Slavery, offers interesting information regarding the various explanations people have used to justify the existence and the use of slaves. Reasoning included biblical stories, pseudo-scientific racism, and Aristotelian philosophy. I believe this document is a valuable historical source because it provides some insight behind a practice that occurred in all parts of the world. It dates back to the beginning of civilization up until the 19th century. Although the reasoning is incorrect, it is valuable because it goes beyond mere bigotry, and blind ignorance. The fact that slavery was felt to be justifiable under Biblical teaching and science, it is no wonder why this was such an accepted and common practice for so long, and why racism against African Americans still exists today. Ironically, the Biblical story, “The Curse of Ham” didn’t even exist, yet it was never questioned. When understanding such justifications, it is easily arguable that slavery and racism was and is undoubtedly wrong.
2. The document titled, What Was Life Like Under Slavery, examines how poor the conditions were for slaves in the south, despite Apologist arguments. The evidence is overwhelming. Many lived in complete filth, and statistics show that the average lifespan for a slave was about the age college students are now. The insight that this document offers seems to go against the very point of having a slave. I’m sure that no plantation owner would want a weak, sick worker. Yet, the animals were probably in better shape than the slaves were. This document is a valuable historical source because it proves how unjust slavery was. It is a reminder of how inhumane and cruel human beings can be towards each other and how important it is to condemn that type of treatment towards African Americans as well all human beings.
3. The document titled, Abolition, is an overview of “one of the most momentous moral transformations in history.” Beginning with the Quakers in 1750, opposition to slavery grew worldwide, and in a little more than a century was finally abolished. Some slaves, like in Haiti, fought for their freedom, while others were emancipated by their governments. This document is a valuable historical source because it raises some interesting questions. The document states that in 1807, Britain and the United States outlawed the African slave trade. However, slavery itself was not abolished in the United States for another 60 years. What kind of reasoning led to the decision to outlaw the African slave trade, and why would that reasoning not lead to the outlawing of slavery in general? It is also ironic that the Quakers were the first to speak out against slavery, yet it was America that was one of the last nations to outlaw slavery. Also, the document says that slavery, long regarded as an inevitable part of the social order, came to be seen as a violation of Christian morality and the natural, inalienable rights of man. The main impetus behind antislavery came from religion. However, as the document titled, Justifications of Slavery says, it was the Bible that gave legitimacy to the enslavement of the black man. This document is an example of how some historical evidence can certainly pose all sorts of challenges.
- The first passage that I chose to compare to Charles Joyner's article on slavery was the Family Slave Narrative. Charles Joyner, rightfully so, seems very upset that slave owners and traders sometimes referred to the slaves as part of their family. He questions why they would beat, rape and sell them away if they were a part of the family. This raises a very interesting point, these slaves were not treated like family members, they weren't even treated like humans part of the time. He did say that it was promoted for them to have families of their own, but this was so that the owner could sell new slaves when they had children or just use them whenever he pleased. The slave narrative on family told us the same story about how they were allowed to have families of their own, but they could be sold off at any time. Many times slave owners would sell the wife away to another plantation and then they would expect the husband to marry another woman, all in an attempt to make a profit. The slave family in themselves were very strong together, but the owner had nothing to do with that. A lot of the owners did give the families what they needed to eat, but like in the narrative, the slave said the owner could keep all of the food he normally gives him if he could just have his wife and children back.
- When I read from Charles Joyner's article there really wasn't that much about slave resistance on the plantations. He did mention that slaves ran away all the time and it was usually the male slaves that did run away. That is one reason why women slaves were becoming more popular. He said that the women slaves could not do as much as the men but some slave owners abused and raped them. This was one other reason for promoting the family life, men were less likely to run away if their family lived there with them. The article on resistance from the slave narratives was much more in depth on where these slaves that ran away from the plantations could have been going. It talked more about the bigger plots against the white people which was not included in Joyner's article.
- The slave narrative on punishment very much agrees with Joyner's article in that it had an example in which one slave owner said that they way to get slaves to produce and work hard is to love them. This was also said in the Joyner article when the owner said he thought of them as family. These articles showed that the main way that owners got the slaves to perform was through intimidation. Through the fear that they could be whipped, beaten, raped or even hung at any time. In one part of the Joyner article however it did say that there were incentives for good work called "holidays" which kind of contradicts the other article saying that fear of punishment is what motivated the slaves to work hard.
Religion to the slaves was very important. Slaves practiced a form of evangelical Christianity. Chanting, shouting, and dancing were a large part of the slaves’ religion. The one thing that I am confused about is how slave masters thought that if the slaves practiced the Christian religion that the slaves would assume they had to be free, so why would the slave masters allow for this kind of religion to be practiced, or was is secretive? (“slaveowners were reluctant to Christianize their slaves for fear that baptized slaves would have to be set free. They also worried that the Christian notion of the spiritual equality of all human beings would lead slaves to demand their freedom.”)
For a white man to go into the south and come out saying this about slavery: “He depicted slavery as a wasteful and inefficient system, which degraded labor, exhausted soil, and deprived slaves of any incentives to work hard. He charged that planters, fearful of sabotage or carelessness, provided slaves with only the simple, heavy implements, and depicted slave labor as crude, brutish work.” The conditions were so poor that even a white man felt bad about what black individuals had to live through.
During reading we found that families were together and allowed to be together while working on a plantation. Men attended to their families and were even granted permission to name their own children in order to keep their African roots. The one thing the article didn’t mention was about how a child was introduced to slavery. According to a passage from Digital History “For one former Louisiana slave that moment came when her mistress whipped her for saying "to missis, 'My mother sent me.' We were not allowed to call our mammies 'mother.' It was too near the way of the white folks." For other ex-slaves, the shock of recognition came upon seeing their parents whipped or upon confronting the fact that their parents were unable to protect them from punishment from a master or an overseer.” Little black children also played with the white children of the slave driver before the white children were old enough to go off to school. Soon after that they little black children would enter into a their new harsh life of slavery.
Arrival in the New World <http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/black_voices/voices_display.cfm?id=39> - Olaudah Equiano <http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/black_voices/voices_display.cfm?id=40>
“As the vessel drew nearer, we plainly saw the harbor and other ships of different kinds and sizes and we soon anchored amongst them off Bridgetown. Many merchants and planters came on board...They put us in separate parcels and examined us attentively. They also made us jump, and pointed to the land, signifying we were to go there. We thought by this we should be eaten by these ugly men, as they appeared to us. When soon after we were all put down under the deck again, there was much dread and trembling among us and nothing but bitter cries to be heard all the night from the apprehensions.”
“We were conducted immediately to the merchant's yard, where we were all pent up together, like so many sheep in a fold, without regard to sex or age. As every object was new to me, everything I saw filled me with surprise. What struck me first was that the houses were built with bricks and stories, and in every respect different from those I had seen in Africa, but I was still more astonished to see people on horseback. I did not know what this could mean, and indeed I thought these people were full of nothing but magical arts.”
Conditions of Life - Josiah Henson
“My earliest employments were, to carry buckets of water to the men at work, and to hold a horse-plough, used for weeding between the rows of corn. As I grew older and taller, I was entrusted with the care of master's saddle- horse. Then a hoe was put into my hands, and I was soon required to do the day's work of a man”
“In ordinary times we had two regular meals in a day: breakfast at twelve o'clock, after laboring from daylight, and supper when the work of the remainder of the day was over. In harvest season we had three.”
“Our dress was of tow-cloth; for the children, nothing but a shirt; for the older ones a pair of pantaloons or a gown in addition, according to the sex. Besides these, in the winter a round jacket or overcoat, a wool-hat once in two or three years, for the males, and a pair of coarse shoes once a year.”
“We lodged in log huts, and on the bare ground. Wooden floors were an unknown luxury. In a single room were huddled, like cattle, ten or a dozen persons, men, women, and children.”
“Our beds were collections of straw and old rags, thrown down in the corners and boxed in with boards; a single blanket the only covering. Our favourite way of sleeping, however, was on a plank, our heads raised on an old jacket and our feet toasting before the smouldering fire. The wind whistled and the rain and snow blew in through the cracks, and the damp earth soaked in the moisture till the floor was miry as a pig- sty.”
Punishment - John Brown
“To prevent my running any more, Stevens fixed bells and horns on my head. This is not by any means an uncommon punishment. I have seen many slaves wearing them. A circle of iron, having a hinge behind, with a staple and padlock before, which hang under the chin, is fastened round the neck. Another circle of iron fits quite close round the crown of the head. The two are held together in this position by three rods of iron, which are fixed in each circle. These rods, or horns, stick out three feet above the head, and have a bell attached to each. The bells and horns do not weigh less than twelve to fourteen pounds. When Stevens had fixed this ornament on my head, he turned me loose, and told me I might run off now if I liked.
I wore the bells and horns, day and night, for three months, and I do not think any description I could give of my sufferings during this time would convey anything approaching to a faint idea of them. Let alone that their weight made my head and neck ache dreadfully, especially when I stooped to my work. At night I could not lie down to rest, because the horns prevented my stretching myself, or even curling myself up; so I was obliged to sleep crouching. Of course it was impossible for me to attempt to remove them, or to get away, though I still held to my resolution to make another venture as soon as I could see my way of doing it.”
1.) In the document Condtions of Life it talks about the black slave children having to sometimes watch their parents be beaten or whipped by the white slave owners. This would deepen Joyner's article because he talked about how black slaves started forming families and were able to name their childen, this made a family connection between the two. Obviously children would be upset to see one of their parents hurt or getting hurt and sometimes it was completely normal for adult slaves to be beaten. I think that this article is valuable for history because it also explained how white children and black children would play with each other when they were little but with time that would change. A big factor for this changing was that white children would eventually go to school while black slaves would stay at home and work on the plantation.
2.) In the document Religion it deepns Joyner's article beacause it talks about how religion became important to black slaves. Also, Religion talks about how the black slaves wanted somes ort of different religion then their white slave owners and masters. This meant that the black slaves would conduct secret services and perform marriages and other sacraments by themselves. This article is valuable for history so that people today relieze what an important part religion played in slaves' lifes. Often times it gave them something to look forward to for their future.
3.) In the document by Frederick Douglass it deepens Joyner's article because it talks about how slaves would be whipped and beaten. It could happen to them for no apparent reason. Slaves where always at the mercy of their slave-owners. This document is also important for history so that everyone understands how awfull slavery actually was. Another reason why it is important is because it helps today to understand how slaves could be beaten over everything and anything. Douglass even states, "one of the greatest crimes of which a slave can be guilty. Does he ever venture to suggest a different mode of doing things from that pointed out by his master?"
One former Louisiana slave was forced to confront the harsh realities of slavery when her mistress whipped her for saying "my mother". They were not allowed to call their mothers "mother" because it was too close to how the white folks spoke. Other children understood the reality of slavery when they saw their parents whipped. And sometimes it came when the children saw that their parents could do nothing to protect them from being whipped or any punishment.
For one slave named Charles, his realization came a different way. His white playmates, who were once his friends, began treating him like a slave. His master's son says that white and black children of the same Southern households have always been known to play together. However, when the whites become subjected to schooling and other children, they begin to also think they are superior to their black friends (or slaves). Charles did not appreciate this change of attitude. He responded with setting the family's house on fire, and was sold to the deep South.
The Middle Passage-
Conditions on slave ships were "unspeakably horrible". When one ship named the North Star docked, it contained 505 African men and women, while 55 others had been tossed overboard. All the slaves were "enclosed under grated hatchways, between decks. The space was so low that they sat between each others' legs, and stowed so close togeter that there was no possiblity of laying down or at all changing their position, by night or day... They were all branded like sheep... burnt with a red hot iron..." Every prisoner was chained at the neck and legs, and had just one square foot of sitting space.
The middle passage was the worst aspect of the Atlantic slave trade. Most of the time, slaves were crowded, usually having less then half the space then the space provided for convicts aboard convict ships. For example aboard the Brookes (a British slave ship), it carried 451 slaves, every man being allowed a space of 6 feet long, 16 inches wide and 2 feet 7 inches high. Every woman was given 5 feet 10 inches long, and 16 inches wide; every boy 5 feet, 14 inches wide, and every girl 4 feet six inches, and 12 inches wide. One record says that this same ship carried 609 slaves at one time at least once.
Death rates during this middle passage were generally very high, approximatly 168 deaths for every 1,000 slaves. Child death rates were even higher. Disease was the main cause of the deaths. Smallpox, measles, ameobic dysentery, "the bloody flux", which was caused by contaiminated food and water supplies. This shows the low level of sanitation aboard these ships. Also, slaves died in revolts onboard, attacks from pirates, shipwrecks and suicide.
In the article “Family”, it talks about how the slave families were split up and family members were sold away. In Joyner’s article he states that “The home began to represent more than just a form of shelter... it became the haven for the development of the African-American experience” but the other article states otherwise. It talks about how the slaves had no family life at all. They could get married and have children but they had no say over whether or not their family members would stay on the same plantation as them or be sold off to another family. The article states “Certainly, many owners believed that it was in their own self interest to encourage stable family lives. They knew that stable families raised slave morale, reduced the likelihood of slaves running away, and encouraged a high slave birth rate. Thus, many slaveholders promoted stable families by participating in slave marriage ceremonies, providing slave families with separate garden plots, prohibiting divorce, and severely punishing adultery. But slave-owners also regarded slaves as a form of property that might be sold at any time.” The owners knew that family life was important but it still didn’t stop them from ripping families apart and selling them to other plantation owners. The article also goes on to talk about how if the families were split up they needed permission from their owners to go and see their family members. Often times, though, the slave owners would not permit them to do so.
In the article “Punishment”, it talks about how whipping and other punishments were good for the slaves because it did not really break the skin. The article states that punishment was an everyday scene, this goes along with what Joyner says: “Whippings, beatings, drowning, and hangings were as unpredictable as they were gruesome. Punishment needed no real justification.” The slaves were sometimes beaten without any real reason for that punishment and there were many different types of punishments. This article helps Joyner’s statement with evidence of the different types of punishment but it states that the punishments were not harsh.
Conditions of Life-
This article talks about how the conditions were for the slaves. This depiction of slave life though is tainted because he states that the slave system was not good at all for the economy or for making money when in fact it is proven that the slave system worked just fine in both of these ways. This article does not support Joyner’s article about slavery because it is so tainted and wrong. Even though Olmsted traveled around the South for fourteen months, taking notes on the slave systems, he did provide an accurate account on what was truly happening.
The Emancipation shows how the freed black slaves were trying to rebuild their lives. The article gives many examples how they were trying to rebuild their lives after enslavement, some examples being building their own churches and schools and also by trying to find their families. By listing what they were trying to do, it reinforces how hard they were trying to rebuild their lives. They started doing things as simple as reading and writing, things we take for granted. It shows how something simple to us means a lot to them.
The punishment document shows how powerful slave owners thought physical punishment was. The slave owners used it to threaten the slaves. If they did not do the work, they would be whipped. It gives a look into how slaves were treated for good and bad punishment. If the slaves did something good, they owners would reward them with small things. However, along with that came the threat of being beat if they did not do the work. It tells how the whip has become the defining symbol of slavery. Most slave owners used the whip to keep their slaves in shape. There were other physical punishments for slaves such as keeping them locked up in private jails, confined the slaves in stocks and shackled them with chains and iron collars. The document talks a lot about how slave owners used physical punishment to keep their slaves in line. It was their way of getting what they wanted out of their slaves. It reinforced how much slave owners depended on punishment.
It does not really give too much detail on how the slaves delt with being enslaved at a young age. It just gives examples of their first memories when they were confronted with the realities of slavery. It does show how harsh the reality of their lives were but it does not go into too much detail about their lives as young children. The document states that white children could have been friends with young black children at a young age until they went to school. That could confuse the young black children as to why they are living the type of life they are living. If the slave owners are going to keep them as slaves, the slave owners should not allow the children to play at all. It could confuse both children as to what was considered right and what was considered wrong at the time