The Slave in the Swamp: Disrupting the Plantation Narrative (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:12/8/2004 - Routledge
By: William Tynes Cowa
In nineteenth-century plantation literature, the runaway slave in the swamp was a recurring 'bogey-man' whose presence challenged myths of the plantation system. By escaping to the swamps with its wild and threatening connotations, the runaway gained an invisibility that was more threatening to the institution than open rebellion. In part, the pro-slavery plantation novel served to transform that image of the free slave in the swamp from its untouchable, abstract state to a form that could be possessed, understood, and controlled. Essentially, writers defending the institution would conjure forth the rebellious image in order to dispel it safely.