Mary's Story

Text Analysis

Below is a quick summary of The History Mary Prince A West Indian Slave

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The History Of Mary Prince A West Indian Slave is a very powerful and moving text. Her work is backed by her editor that relayed the story she told because Mary was unable to do so herself. In the preface of the text it is noted that the profits go directly to Mary.


The text starts out with Mary’s childhood and what was expected of her as a young child. Mary noted that her childhood was the best part of her life. In the start of the text the reader is informed that her mother was a household slave. Around the age of 12 Mary was sold by her mistress due to the inability to afford her. Following this Mary her siblings and her mother all went to auction. Following the auction unfortunately everyone was separated at this point. Upon being sold Mary made her way to her new home where she was warned upon entering the house “you must keep a good heart.”(Mary, 5) Once at the house Mary was taught household chores. While working there one of her fellow slaves feel ill and died leaving Mary with twice as much work. Mary was working one day when a jar of some sort broke following the event she was beaten for the broken glass. After being beaten Mary ran away. Mary remained home for 5 years. Mary eventually was sent to a new owner.  Mary expressed that her new master was hard to please and that she was constantly working. After 10 years Mary was moved to Cedar Hills where she would earn two dollars and a quarter a week. Mary explains that she would go to a group and talk about sins and pray for forgiveness at this group she meet her husband. Mary goes on to work for the rest of her life; her final place of work was with the Pringles.

Mary was exposed to a lot of violence and miss treatment as a slave and her text highlights the adversity she went through in a way that is understood without going to a great deal of detail. The way that her story was written out made it more appealing to a white audience with the help of Thomas Pringle.

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