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In reading Juan Francisco Manzano’s “Autobiography of a Slave”, it was interesting to see the change in Manzano’s character from a joyful vivacious boy to a melancholy, lifeless form which affected him both physically and emotionally. This occurred through many changes of masters and mistresses throughout Manzano’s childhood. Manzano had a good life in his early childhood growing alongside his first mistress, the Marchioness de Justiz who held Manzano in her arms more than his mother. He describes himself as a mischievous child who did not get punished for anything. “ I spent my time getting into all kinds of mischief, but was seen in a better light than I deserved.” Manzano was never even beat as a child, and nobody even dared to. Manzano’s life drastically changed when his mistress died. He was under the care of another mistress, however by the age of fourteen, his life became fearful and horrid. “For the least childish mischief, I was locked up for twenty-four hours in a coal cellar without floorboards and nothing to cover myself.” He was not given anything to eat either. Such a transformation of physical treatment led to the emotional damage of Manzano’s personality. “From the age of thirteen to fourteen, the joy and vivacity of my character and the eloquence of my lips, dubbed the ‘golden beak’, all changed completely into a certain kind of melancholy that, with time, became a personal trait of mine.” Manzano claims that with worse and worse treatment, he became more taciturn and melancholy.

Simón Bolívar, a criolle from Venezuela, discusses many topics in his The letter: Response from a South American to a Gentlemen from this Island to the English Henry Cullen. One of his main points he discusses is the form of government with South America should take. He states in his letter his strong opposition to a monarchy, which is not an ideal government for independence. Instead, he opts for a republican government. He believes that a republic would be ideal for the freedom of America with no coercive power having too much control. “Since freedom exercises no power, because it is directly opposed to it, there is nothing to motivate republicans to extend the borders of their nation, in detriment of their own resources, for the mere purpose of forcing their neighbors to participate in a liberal constitution” (24). Bolívar believes that a monarchy would be “in clear opposition to the interests of their citizens.” Since the goal is to establish permanence and independence, small republics would be ideal. He goes on to use Rome as an example of having a republic capital which led to Rome’s long lasting success. Bolívar also makes an interesting point in not wanting to blend aristocracy and democracy because although it works well in England, it would be very difficult to attain in South America. Bolívar has a realistic mindset which is proven when he says, “Let us strive not for the best but for the most likely of attainment.”

Thomas Jefferson and Hector St. John de Crévecoeur both have their respective opinions on slavery in the New World. However, their views are comparable based on their differences in writing styles. Both of their writing styles possess a certain attribute that makes them both effective descriptors in their writings. By comparing two quotes that basically say the same thing, it is obvious to see the differences between the writings of Jefferson and Crévecoeur. Jefferson’s writing style is very elaborate and descriptive. Jefferson plays his language to the audience. He poses an idealist thought, rather than a realist idea. He also uses religion to give an appeal to a higher authority. By using God’s name, Jefferson is almost testifying his opinions by saying that his opinions are one with God. Crévecoeur’s writing differs from Jeffersons in a few aspects. Unlike Jefferson’s elaborate, idealist description of slavery, Crévecoeur uses a declaratory, factual language to get his point across in a realistic fashion. He simply states what he knows and does not try to candy-coat it or bring religion into his writing as a justification which is what Jefferson did. While both of their writing styles are different, both Jefferson and Crévecoeur are effective writers as they appeal to different groups of people.

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