The Nature of Oppression

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: November 10, 2019

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This is the perfect proverb to describe the ongoing cycle of power in the Haitian world. Why does Henri Christopher chose to enslave many of his own people after he himself experienced the tortures of a slave in the book of The Kingdom of this World. The domination of King Henri Christophe shows that after the oppressed seize the oppressors, they wish to take their place. This is the ongoing cycle of power and domination. Alejo Carpentier strives to tell by his book that humans always want to overthrow the more powerful and dominate others.Through the cycle or process of slavery and dominion, the cruelty and brutality causes the oppressed to fear and feel alone and helpless. However it is through their fear they are all connected and unified, and in time they will always rebel the oppressors. Thus, the process of power will shift from one to another and there will always be someone trying to take that power.

The oppressed always want to become the oppressors to make others feel as bad as they did so they can feel superior then everyone. This is why Carpentier wants to show how King Henri Christophe became the ppressor of his own people.The power shifts from the French to the black cook. Through the creation of the city of San Souci, Ti Ni?? el shows that Christophe even enslave elder men and young, pregnant women. “Walking, walking, up and down, down and up, the Negro began to think that the chamber-music orchestras of Sans Souci, the splendor of the uniforms, and the statues of naked white women soaking up the sun on their scrolled pedestals among the sculpture boxwood hedging the flowerbeds were all the product of a slavery as abominable as that he had known on the plantation of M.

Lenormand de Mezy. (Carpentier 122)The slaves learn a valuable lesson: it is not that white’s are cruel and brutal, but that the whole mankind becomes so once they achieve power. Carpentier shows what he feels through Ti Ni?? el the slaves even if it is their own people. This shows that the slavery by the black was even worse then Ti Ni?? el had experience with his former French master, M. Lenormand de Mezy.

All King Henri Christopher wanted was to be powerful and make his own paradise. He even allowed the death of blacks unlike the whites who did not want to lose money.Since there as always enough black women to bear their children there would never be a lack of workers to carry bricks. Thus, Henri Christophe wanted the power of domination more then having ethics. However, the power will never stay in the hands of one person for when the powerful exercise their power to an extreme they will become vulnerable.

The process is always the same that the oppressors try to use suppression to dominate the people. They believe that this will make them separate and unable to rebel.Yet it is the fear the makes them have urge to rebel for that is the only way that they are connected et it is so strong. So when this fear rises the popularity the power with move down to the oppressed. “Now, in the middle of the Place d’Armes, the fugitives related their tragic misfortune to the Governor of the fortress. ” (153) The slaves gave their “tragic misfortune” into anger to which they gave the cruelest attitude towards the dead king. This is a physiological effect that when one experiences pain, he/she always enjoy watching other experience the same agony, only unless he/she is truly confident about themselves.Alejo Carpentier wants to tell through Ti Noel that humans always esire to overthrow the more powerful and dominate others.

He shows that there is no real escape for humanity, as Ti Noel could not find one after even transforming into animals. Mankind will always want to take over someone else’s power and therefore the power will always more to another. “It had been made crystal clear to him that being a goose did not imply that all geese were equal.

” (182) This is the symbolism of humans of how that even humans are great being they will always preduce against another.He suffers and hopes and toils fro people he will never know, who in urn, will suffer and hope and toil for others who will not be happy either, for man always seeks a happiness far beyond that which is meted out to him. But man’s greatness consists of the very fact of wanting to be better then he is. In laying duties to himself” (185) However I disagree with Carpentier for I believe that the this “greatness” is also a weakness because man can think of himself higher then others and act as a oppressor.

When, man achieves the strength of overthrowing the more powerful he will always care to take that same position.The reader sees this hrough the actions of Henri Christophe by how he betrays his people. Yet it is only natural to do so for man is still like animals trying to be stronger then everyone else. However, the power shall never remain for the will be the time when the oppressed have the will to overthrow their rulers. And then the cycle of power will then repeat, for this is human’s nature.

The only way man can overcome these repeating cycle of torment, is when humankind is caring and accepting for everyone. However for now, we must try not to achieve such power to change are ethics so we too are not corrupted.

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