Monday, September 26, 2011

Venture Smith

The autobiography of Venture Smith was completely different from any other autobiography that was written around that time.The difference strives on the fact that he was a former slave, not some rich or well educated white man. He was actually illiterate but got someone to write his story. It sheds a different light on slavery because it is being told from a person who lived through slavery down to being taken away from his home and traveling the middle passage to America. Smith's story is a success story because even though he was enslaved and had to go through unjust acts he was able to be free afterwards and even bring all of his family together. This was not an ordinary occurrence for many people were not as fortunate to end up the same way Smith did.
What was amazing is the way that Smith treated the slave owners. He was always respectful and submissive for whatever they asked him to do. On one occasion he was told to keep the master's keys and not let anyone touch them and that is just what he did. He did not even let the slave owner's family take it away from him, thus proving to be a trustworthy man. But, in turn, whenever the slave owner would not treat him the right way or beat him, Smith did not just let it happen. He went to the judge and the judge told the man to treat him right. Obviously Smith did not like slavery but he was not trying to fight it but rather make the best of the situation he was in. Smith was able to save money from what he earned and build towards buying his freedom and the rest of his family later on. I think Smith was trying to convey the idea that even thought life is not always the way we might have thought but through hard work and diligence it is definitely possible for anyone to make it better in the long run.
The story reminds me of Benjamin Franklin's autobiography because it highlights the idea of doing things for yourself and not waiting around for other people to do them for you. But it is different than the Sot weed factor because Ebenezer Cook was disillusioned and just did not try to make anything out of himself or have a positive outlook. There were immoral things happening all around during that time but it did not mean that people could not do for themselves and at least better the way they lived.This autobiography shows the different ways that people can react to situations although they may be oppressed by the people around them.

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