Slave on the Block Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Slave on the Block.
This section contains 633 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Slave on the Block Study Guide

Freedom and Slavery

The very title "Slave on the Block" calls immediate attention to the theme of freedom and slavery. Just as slaves were displayed to prospective buyers, the Carraways put Luther on display in their household. Anne's great inspiration is to paint Luther as a slave, and Michael is moved to compose"a modern slave plaint" when he sees the young man posing. One day, when called to pose, he reluctantly appears, singing "Before I'd be a slave / I'd be buried in ma grave / And go home to my Jesus / And be free." That same afternoon he almost lets the furnace go out. Slaves often sang spirituals about freedom as a masked form of rebellion. This song can be seen as Luther's criticism of his status in the Carraway household.

Race and Racism

For all their enthusiasm for "things Negro," the Carraways do not acknowledge Luther, or indeed...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 633 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Slave on the Block Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
Slave on the Block from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.