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Re: Why does Moses care?

Posted by Jacqueline Heller on October 14, 2002 at 14:51:29:

In Reply to: Why does Moses care? posted by Amy Stretten on October 9, 2002 at 20:04:38:

As you say "she owned and treated human beings no better than animals!" I have to disagree, although Frances did own slaves, she was not truly their owner, who was it that gave them freedom from chains? who gave them proper clothes and beds to sleep in, who was it that insited that they were not beaten and took the verbal abuse of her husband to make their lives as comfortable as possible? When she married Josiah, she came from the aristocracy, a completed different and sheltered life. She had no concept of how slaves were treated, the only kind she had ever scene were those who had learned english and had fine decorum and obdience, just as one (at that time) would have expected from any house servant.
During the times of aristocracy one must do all to keep in tact their name. It is difficult to explain this key issue, but we all saw it when Josiah was allowed to take residence across the river at Queen's square due to Frances's name. Since she was raised not in a trading society, but a royal one, it would have been nearly suicide to deface her name. This would have been completely unaccetable and horrid for her to do this at that time. In modern society it easy to question and blame her for being materistic and selfish. In reality if she wanted to be selfish, she would have disregarded all respect for her name sake and followed her heart and her passions instead of her reason and duty.
I must agree with Blythe that she is a victim to some extent, she is a victim of the society that she lived in, and there was nothing she could do to change this. There are many aspects to be consider before we can simply acuse her. Throughout the film we can see her concern for the slaves well being, and her sympathies to wanting them to go free. She is naive in many aspects, but at heart we can see that she only wants what is best, even though what she thinks may not be the best way.


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