Notably, the inability to connect to the divine also makes him like a pitiful animal, casting him further into the dehumanized existence that he fears. memorable and interesting quotes from great books. 2020. Will asks Nat the same question about Margaret Whitehead, but at that point Nat is the one who "gets" her. Figger a white man treat you right, you gwine feel white-assed. Even Will's name, will, suggests he does the things the intellectual and skeptical Nat wants to but can't. Section 4, - Hark discovers a corollary. Lawyer Thomas Gray is talking to Nat in his jail cell, expressing disbelief that a slave who has "civilized and virtuous masters" would even want to rebel. - . The The Confessions of Nat Turner: The Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Virginia Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by … Nat is an enslaved man living in Virginia before the Civil War. If white people treating him badly makes him feel "black-assed," then white people treating him well should make him feel good, or "white-assed." “Though it is a painful fact that most Negroes are hopelessly docile, many of them are filled with fury, and the unctuous coating of flattery which surrounds and encases that fury is but a form of self-preservation.”. Like animals, glistening with sweat ... they ply their hoes in unison. The Confessions of Nat Turner is a 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by American writer William Styron.Presented as a first-person narrative by historical figure Nat Turner, the novel concerns the slave revolt in Virginia in 1831. BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, Additionally, Gray's claim about white workers being worse off is also shaky because it overlooks a major difference: white workers could emigrate, while slaves were in chains. Gray is also the character who claims that slavery will last for 1,000 years, so his level of useful wisdom is limited from the start. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner “The most futile thing a man can do is to ponder the alternatives, to stew and fret over the life that might have been lived if circumstances had not pointed his future in a certain direction.” ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner Nat is thinking about how he would answer a question Thomas Gray asked him earlier: whether Nat regretted anything he'd done. Hark calls this experience "feeling black-assed." Copyright © 2016. In Course Hero. Jun 4, 2016 - Nat Turner was an enslaved African American who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831, that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 white people. Symbols & Motifs. Many black schools in Virginia at that time had outside privies. In the Virginia Tidewater region of my beginnings, heavily populated by blacks, society remained firmly in the grip of the Jim Crow laws and their ordinance of a separate and thoroughly unequal way of life. The Confessions of Nat Turner William Styron. Section 2, - ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “Hogwash!” he exclaimed. The gossip would get started: God durned niggers gittin’ so they hit back. Real hatred of the sort of which I speak—hatred so pure and obdurate that no sympathy, no human warmth, no flicker of compassion can make the faintest nick or scratch upon the stony surface of its being—is not common to all Negroes.” the BookQuoters community. Gray reads back the confession, but Nat stops listening. typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. The "murderous conqueror" is Napoleon Bonaparte (1769– 1821), emperor of France. submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to It is a cancer eating at our bowels, the source of all our misery, individual, political, and economic.” A nursery for Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas. The author spent countless hours poring through historical documents to provide a framework for this fictional novel, in which William Styron attempts to imagine what kind of man Nat Turner really was. Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “Doctor, I will be as direct with you as I can. choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. This viewpoint leaves Nat with attitudes that resonate with the beliefs of white racists. You did, as you say, come damn near to taking your army into this town. See more ideas about nat turner, african american, african. (12.7K votes), “Though it is a painful fact that most Negroes are hopelessly docile, many of them are filled with fury, and the unctuous coating of flattery which surrounds and encases that fury is but a form of self-preservation.” Born date June 11, 1925 ― Daphne du Maurier, quote from The Parasites, “At the core of every ordered system, whether a family or a factory, is chaos. Called "the black Napoleon," freed slave and Haitian leader Toussaint Louverture (1743–1803) led a successful revolt and freed slaves in the French colony of Saint Domingue (today Haiti). ― Thomas Keneally, quote from The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, “The number of elected officials who were willing to put the good of the country ahead of their own ego, and the success of their political party, was minuscule.” We hope you’ll join us. He also points to the far worse conditions faced by slaves on cotton plantations of Mississippi and Alabama. Styron's insight into the character of Nat Turner emphasizes the way his talents and privileges have set him apart from other slaves, and he imagines Nat feeling contempt for them. Turner’s confession reveals him to be an intellectual prodigy, a man of truly aristocratic temperament, and a religious fanatic. While submitting to one of his owner’s periodical beatings, Will had finally snapped, perpetrating what for a Negro was the gravest of deeds: he had struck Francis back. William Styron. Nat Turner Quotes - BrainyQuote I had a vision - and I saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle, and the sun was darkened - the thunder rolled in the Heavens, and blood flowed in streams - and I heard a voice saying, 'Such is your luck, such are you called to see, and let it come rough or smooth, you must surely bear it.' His lack of sexual experiences is appropriate to the character of a fanatic. Course Hero. Bio: Nat Turner was an African-American slave who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831, that resulted in the deaths of at least fifty white people and at least 200 black people. According to Nat, the sold-off slaves approach their journey in a happy-go-lucky, careless way. 23 Feb. 2021. However, this kind of logic is shaky. But it isn't so. more relevant and important. Background “The Confessions of Nat Turner” is Thomas Gray’s pamphlet account of his jail-house interview with Nat Turner, the leader of a two-day slave rebellion in Virginia which started on August 21, 1831, causing the deaths of approximately sixty white men, women, and children. Don’t you know that, Reverend? Confucius. October marks the anniversary both of his birth and of his arrest as the leader of one of the United States' most famous slave rebellions. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “That I chose Independence Day as the moment to strike was of course a piece of deliberate irony.” Only then will the first be last, and the last first.” In the cell next to him is Hark, a coconspirator. Picture Quote 4. offer you some of the highlights. Don’t you see the plain ordinary evil of your dad-burned Bible?” Born: October 2nd, 1800 Died: November 11th, 1831 Categories: Activists, 1830s deaths. Upload them to earn free Course Hero access! After experiencing this remorse for killing Margaret, he hears God's voice again. I knew nothing about you and that boy, nothing at all.” In such a way is our human decency brought down, when we pander all that is in us noble and just to the false god which goes by the vile name of Capital! "The Confessions of Nat Turner Study Guide." Essay Topics. I have long and do still steadfastly believe that slavery is the great cause of all the chief evils of our land. It is based on The Confessions of Nat Turner: The Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Virginia, a first-hand account of Turner's confessions … After his capture and arrest on October 30, 1831, Nat Turner was imprisoned in the Southampton County Jail, where he was interviewed by Thomas R. … ― William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner. Download a PDF to print or study offline. No,” he went on, breaking off a black wad from a plug of chewing tobacco, “no, I’ll have to hand it to you, in many respects you was pretty thorough. I reckon you didn’t figure on that neither back then, did you, Reverend?” ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “It is evil to keep these people in bondage, yet they cannot be freed. In itself this is plausible; racism can be internalized. Section 3, - If a person is deprived of basic needs, knowing of the conditions of those worse off than they are offers little comfort. The mob. Not only that, he had struck Francis savagely enough (with a lightwood fagot wrenched from a barnyard stack) as to have broken Francis’s left arm and shoulder. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. 27 Mar. Accessed February 23, 2021. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Confessions-of-Nat-Turner/. The evidence was blatant and embarrassing even to some white children, like myself, who were presumably brought up to be indifferent to such inequities as the ramshackle black school that stood on the route we traveled to our own up-to-date and well-equipped edifice, with its swank state-of-the-art public address system, very advanced for the late 1930s. Course Hero, Inc. 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The The Confessions of Nat Turner: The Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Virginia Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by … Nat Turner, leader of a brutal but unsuccessful slave rebellion, sits in prison awaiting trial. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “It is I am sure a kind of unorthodoxy, and considered thus by some,” I hear my master say (I resume my station, still flustered and with a madly working heart), “but it is my conviction that the more religiously and intellectually enlightened a Negro is made, the better for himself, his master, and the commonweal.” However, Nat's choice is a canny one. ― Dean Koontz, quote from The Darkest Evening of the Year, “If you are once sure what you do want, you find that everything else goes down before it like grass under a roller—(all other interests, your own and other people’s. The Confessions of Nat Turner Character Analysis. As the world communicates more and ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “The fairest state of them all, this tranquil and beloved domain—what has it now become? (2020, March 27). No niggers ever done anything like this.” ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “AN EXQUISITELY SHARPENED HATRED FOR the white man is of course an emotion not difficult for Negroes to harbor. He cannot reject the label of slave. Part 4. Minutes passed and they said nothing, then Henry’s voice broke the silence, his deaf man’s bleat hoarse and cracked, a shock in the stillness: “Us gotta kill all dem white sonsabitches. And only God knows how many poor souls will be scarred in their minds by grief and by terrible memories until the day they part this life. As he looks at field hands working, "the sight of their dumb toil" frightens Nat. ... Picture Quotes. Nat Turner. Here Hark points out that it is white racists who teach black people what it is to be black and the object of their scorn. It accomplished not only your senseless butchery, the extermination of all those involved in it, black and white, but the horror of lawless retaliation and reprisal—one hundred and thirty-one innocent niggers both slave and free cut down by the mob that roamed Southampton for a solid week, searching vengeance. Hark speaks in a version of African American Vernacular English, or AAVE. The Confessions of Nat Turner Quotes. philosophy by which we live. Web. But she doesn't die immediately and pleads with Nat to deliver the fatal blow. Part 4. Nat Turner. Word Count: 1112. Download Save. They was simply livin’ too well!” Although Nat has forbidden his troops to rape the masters' wives and daughters, Nat's killing of Margaret is depicted as erotically charged, the one exulting moment he has longed for throughout. Each quote represents a book that is “Here’s what Christianity accomplished. Christianity accomplished the mob. Throughout the novel Nat's literacy sets his speech apart from that of his fellow slaves. Turner, N., & Gray, T. R. (1831). I am no longer oppressed by the fact (as I was for so many years after I had grown to manhood and was able to reflect long and hard on these matters) that the name on that headstone was not a nigger woman’s forlorn though honest “Lou-Ann” but the captured, possessed, owned “Lou-Ann Turner.” By sword and ax and gun you run a swath through this county that will be long remembered. Apart from some moments with Willis, Nat appears never to have had sex. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “The most futile thing a man can do is to ponder the alternatives, to stew and fret over the life that might have been lived if circumstances had not pointed his future in a certain direction.” The Confessions of Nat Turner Study Guide. Nat sees slaves from Turner's Mill sold in increasing numbers to cotton plantations in the Deep South. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “What I mean in simple terms, Reverend, is that once the alarm went out, there was niggers everywhere—who were as determined to protect and save their masters as you were to murder them. (The Confessions of Nat Turner, p. 48) In August of 1831, Nat Turner, believing himself to be carrying out God's instructions, led a slave revolt intended to wipe out the white population of Southampton County, Virginia. ... Part 2. I would have spared her that showed me Him. “Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – Nat Turner 3. See more on GoodReads, “She yawns for men and not with her mouth. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “—retaining the other half for yourself in savings for the future. But in the three days and nights that your campaign lasted you managed to hasten fifty-five white people into early graves, not counting a score or so more fearfully wounded or disabled—hors de combat, as the Frenchies say, for the rest of their natural lives. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “And when white men in they hate an’ wrath an’ meanness fetches blood from that beautiful black skin then, oh then, my brothers, it is time not fo’ laughing but fo’ weeping an’ rage an’ lamentation! ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “And I think it was a great Frenchman, Voltaire, who said that the beginning of wisdom is the moment when one understands how little concerned with one’s own life are other men, they who are so desperately preoccupied with their own. Does you git her, preacher man, or does I? ― Tasha Alexander, quote from And Only to Deceive. He has been listening to four white men discuss their regrets at the existence of slavery but continue participating in it. Styron published his first book, Lie Down in Darkness, at age twenty-six and went on to write such influential works as the controversial and Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and the international bestseller Sophie’s Choice. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book Nat is realizing he is, at least in part, what other people consider him. Now Will is discussing the murder of Miss Sarah. Course Hero, "The Confessions of Nat Turner Study Guide," March 27, 2020, accessed February 23, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Confessions-of-Nat-Turner/. This is Virginia in the year anno domini 1831. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous Picture Quote 3. Part 3. But what the readers feel and what the slaves may console themselves with are completely different, and Styron never suggests anything else. For here in this worn-out country with its decrepit little farms there was still an ebb and flow of human sympathy—no matter how strained and imperfect—between slave and master, even an understanding (if sometimes prickly) intimacy; and in this climate a black man had not yet become the cipher he would become in the steaming fastnesses of the far South but could get off in the woods by himself or with a friend, scratch his balls and relax and roast a stolen chicken over an open fire and brood upon women and the joys of the belly or the possibility of getting hold of a jug of brandy, or pleasure himself with thoughts of any of the countless tolerable features of human existence.” Through my clever guidance they were finally able to identify with this murderous conqueror. The Confessions of Nat Turner Quotes Showing 1-26 of 26. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “I could scarcely remember a time when I was not haunted by the idea of slavery, or was not profoundly conscious of the strange bifurcated world of whiteness and blackness in which I was born and reared. I was deeply afraid that with such feelings prevalent, our Negroes would become unsettled by the overall mistrust and lose heart for the venture or—even worse—would under this new pressure somehow give away our great secret.” 25 Nat Turner Quotes About the Slave Rebellion Leader 1. Thereupon, at Mr. Pemberton’s good report of your labor—and again I have no doubt that this might be anything but exemplary—I shall draw up the papers for your emancipation. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “My mother, alone among all the Negroes at Turner’s Mill, had been laid honorably to rest in the family plot among white folks (scant yards away, indeed, from the unsentimental Benjamin, now spinning in his coffin) with a marble headstone not one inch smaller nor a shade less white than theirs. White people's pity, kindness, and generosity only intensify the negative experience. Nat is having an experience of existential self-awareness, looking in a mirror and realizing, as if for the first time, who he is. Section 1, - This section contains 787 words (approx. Quotes: 10 sourced quotes total (includes 3 about) Ain’t dat what de Lawd done told you? ― Vince Flynn, quote from Protect and Defend, “But the point is this Monsieur...the reason why Madame complains of you is not because of the immorality in itself; but because, so she tells me, you make immorality delicious.” I was torn between detestation ... and regret that it was too late ... to save them. Start studying Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron. Styron's insight into the character of Nat Turner emphasizes the way his talents and privileges have set him apart from other slaves, and he imagines Nat feeling contempt for them. Gray contrasts the lot of Virginia slaves with that of white workers in Britain or Ireland, claiming the slaves are better off. For at the same time, such a violent act, even though well provoked and not entirely unheard of, was rare and shocking enough so as to make it likely that an atmosphere of suspicion would close in upon Negroes in general. ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “I suppose the truth is simply that it was possible for benefits like these to accrue only to a Negro lucky enough to remain in the poor but relatively benign atmosphere of Virginia. Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality. To free these people without education and with the prejudice that presently exists against them would be a ghastly crime.” This can make the experience of reading the book a difficult and challenging one. He has represented Napoleon as "a seven-foot-tall black prodigy," though Napoleon was short and white. Lawyer Thomas Gray visits Nat and writes down his confession. 2. Instead of mentioning her name, though, he refers to Margaret as "her that showed me Him"—Margaret brings Nat back to God. Oh, Virginia, woe betide thee! ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “Such was the vainglory of a black boy who may have been alone among his race in bondage to have actually read pages from Sir Walter Scott and who knew the product of nine multiplied by nine, the name of the President of the United States, the existence of the continent of Asia, the capital of the state of New Jersey, and could spell words like Deuteronomy, Revelation, Nehemiah, Chesapeake, Southampton, and Shenandoah.” ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “Therefore, they is only one thing to do …” Here I stopped speaking altogether for a while, allowing these last words to enter their consciousness. Yet if truth be known, this hatred does not abound in every Negro’s soul; it relies upon too many mysterious and hidden patterns of life and chance to flourish luxuriantly everywhere. March 27, 2020. Nat Turner was a famous African-American slave and rebel, who was born on October 2, 1800.As a person born on this date, Nat Turner is listed in our database as the 24th most popular celebrity for the day (October 2) and the 1st most popular for the year (1800). Now Nat answers, thinking to himself, he would have "done it all again" and "destroyed them all," but he would have spared Margaret. But in the whirl of every chaos lies a strange order, waiting to be found.” ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron We feel A monstrous breeding farm to supply the sinew to gratify the maw of Eli Whitney’s infernal machine, cursed be that blackguard’s name! Course Hero. Character Analysis. Print Word PDF. “Christianity is finished and done with. As Nat fasts and prays, he is bedeviled by temptations, among them sexuality. Prophets, both biblical and literary, are usually tested in some way, and here Nat is tormented by the vision of a seductive black woman he has seen before on the streets of Jerusalem. She weeps for men and not with her eyes. The slaves are "the only safe, solid capital which Marse Samuel could liquidate." ― William Styron, quote from The Confessions of Nat Turner, “For without knowing the white man at close hand, without having submitted to his wanton and arrogant kindnesses, without having smelled the smell of his bedsheets and his dirty underdrawers and the inside of his privy, and felt the casual yet insolent touch of his women’s fingers upon his own black arm, without seeing him at sport and at ease and at his hypocrite’s worship and at his drunken vileness and at his lustful and adulterous couplings in the hayfield—without having known all these cozy and familial truths, I say, a Negro can only pretend hatred.” "The Confessions of Nat Turner Study Guide." Quote of the day. interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. This is the beginning of the insurrection, and Nat has failed in his first attempt to execute his white master, Joseph Travis. 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