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The Fires of Jubilee AnalysisVu BuiHistory 1302Professor FortenberryFebruary 26, 2018
Bui 2The Fires of Jubilee by Stephen B. Oates portrays a dreadful story about Nat Turner and his way to become the leader of the Southampton slave insurrection in 1831. The book begins with Nat’s early peaceful days as a young child and closes with a bloody ending as a result of therebellion of Nat himself. Oates has strong credentials, and he is highly regarded by his colleagues as both a historian and a writer through some of his works before. In the process of writing the Fires of Jubilee, Oates uses The Confessions of Nat Turner by Thomas Gray as one ofhis main sources, so it is safe to say Oates provides an accurate account of Nat and the rebellion. Oates paints a vivid picture of the deadliest rebellion in the South with his use of descriptive writing; he wants to bring the readers back in time to experience what Nat experiences. Nat Turner’s rebellion changes slavery in the South, and Nat himself will forever be a symbol of terror and vengeance for the slave owners. Oates portrays slavery on an intimate level by describing it through the eyes of Nat Turner. It was known that most slave owners in the South were Christian. Nat’s master, Samuel, was a very religious man himself, and he often uses Christianity as a justification for his ruthless behavior toward the slaves. Christianity was used by the slave owners as a tool to keep the slavesobedient. Slaveholders believed that both the Old Testament and the New Testament allowed slavery1. Black slaves were considered a lesser race, and they were treated terribly for that same reason. Southern masters would often pick and choose different bible verses to show the slaves that they were not human but creatures. For example, God said in Genesis: “God created man in His own image”2, and the slave owners would interpret it as God created white man in His own image to show the slaves they were not created in God’ s image. The white slavers would twist 1 Digital Scholarship Lab, "Christianity as a Justification for Slavery," The History Engine , , accessed February 25,

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