Monday, September 5, 2011

Venture Smith

This writing talks about slavery and what it was like for him growing up. He takes the reader through his life and shows the reader how he was moved around many times growing up. He also talks about the things he was able to accomplish as well as the struggles it took to get to where he was in the end. This story proved to be different then most because he did not start out a slave, his father was a king. His family was taken prisoner and then his life completely changed.

A big question for me throughout the story was did he actually write this himself?

I know that education was not widespread yet and many people were still very uneducated. I think a major theme from this story is much like the last, self-improvement. He knew that he could do anything and would not stop until he could accomplish what he wanted. I also think that he had a strong desire for acceptance into society. The fact that he could not be accepted like he wanted because of his skin color bothered him deeply. He had material success but still was not fully accepted.

I think another thing that stood out was the fact that he did seem well educated. He was very smart at math. He knew how to save and what to do with his money to make it work and last. This is a big deal because even now in 2011 people still do not have this concept. This book is still read today because we can learn a lot from him through how he lived his life.

I do not think his life ended unhappy but better yet hopeful of what was to come later. But who we are now in 2011 is much like how we used to be. We love to see people fail. We love to see them come from nothing and climb the ladder to success and when they get to the top; we want nothing more than to see them fall. This says something about our society; we have not changed as much as we think. We may have actually gone backwards. While we might not have slaves like we used to we still treat people like they are inferior to us.

Both this story and Ben Franklin both were very concerned about being trustworthy. Basically they believed without saying that a "name" is everything. Who you are and what you do with your life defines you. I think this is a virtue that people need to get back today. People are always saying they do not care what others think of them, but the fact is it does matter. We should care about what we do and realize that the things WE do create what people think.

It also was eye opening to some things in slavery that i did not know could happen, like getting married or going to see a judge. I think that when he stuck up for his self while getting a beating surprised me. I feel like this shows what kind of person he truly was and to take it to the next level, having the courage to go see a judge about how he was being treated. I did not know that was even an option for slaves. I understand that most did not speak up because fear of punishment, but his character can be seen when he does.

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