Sharing the Chains Through Oppression
Laurie Halse Anderson choose "Unsigned Colonial Era Letter" source for chapter XVII to compare the sexism and discrimination of women and wives to the racism and slavery during the revolutionary war. “She [a wife] is bound by ties from which nothing but death can release her.” This is addressing the oppression of women during the 1770s, and how women were expected to be dependant on their husbands and incapable of doing many basic tasks. Slaves such as Isabel were not believed to have the same capabilities and rights as white men. “I am a piece of furniture, not a girl who will remember every word spoken in this room.” (pg. 89.) This shows that people believed that slaves were not as intelligent or capable as white people. Both slaves and wives at the time -although recognized for their skills at cleaning, cooking, sewing, exc.- were held to a lower standard of privileges and respect. In this was, the sexism addressed in the unsigned colonial letter directly compares to the oppression and mistreatment Isabel experiences because of slavery. The image above links the two- a white woman and a slave girl- together and brings to light the similarities between their treatment. Both go through the same oppression and unfair life of slaves and wives in the 1770s.
“Among all the species and degrees of slavery that have excited the attention of mankind there is perhaps none more pitiable than that of the ill-suited wife. She is bound by ties from which nothing but death can release her, and whatever her suffering and her wrongs is compelled by delicacy and a regard for personal reputation... to submit to them in silence, and conceal them from observation.” -Unsigned Colonial-Era Letter