Romance in Marseilles Symbols & Objects

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Amputation

Lafala’s amputation symbolizes the destructive legacy of slavery and racism. Lafala’s legs are amputated after he is locked in a non-insulated room on a ship and becomes afflicted by frostbite. The transatlantic voyage on which he receives the frostbite symbolically parallels the voyages that brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, and the loss of Lafala’s legs symbolizes the pain and disadvantages that the descendants of enslaved/colonized peoples still experience.

Settlement

The monetary settlement that Lafala receives from the shipping company symbolizes reparations for historical wrongs. However, there are several problems tied to the settlement, and while the novel acknowledges the need for reparations, these problems represent the pitfalls of poorly implemented reparations plans. Lafala has trouble actually acquiring the money, and the sudden wealth disparity between him and other people causes ire and jealousy. Thus, the novel advocates for wider, more...

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This section contains 748 words
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Buy the Romance in Marseilles Study Guide
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