Major and Minor Themes Presented in Harriet’s Daughter by Marlene Nourbese Philip

Rough work for Harriet’s Daughter.

Harriet’s Daughter By Marlene Nourbese Philip

Description of Major Theme

Discrimination- To not be treated equally because of race, religion, color, sexuality, etc. 

Two Supports:

“He went on and on about how Rastals were criminals, and how they gave decent, hard working coloured people a bad name; how they smoked dope, and how their music was primitive.” (40)

“He made this gross sound in his throat and began on The Importance of Coloured People Being on Time – I began to tune him out. The last words I heard were people think all coloured people are always late!”(33)

Description of Minor Theme

Friendship- The love or caring people give to someone close. 

Two Supports

“Leave her alone. I put my arm around her shoulders and said to her ‘come on, lets go.’ Everyone moved aside for us and we walked away.”(24)

“We – Zulma, ti-cush and I – were hanging out in my room one Saturday afternoon, dancing to reggae music; Zulma was braiding my hair in between sets.” 

Discussion of Similarities between novel one and two:

The two books are mostly linked by the theme “Discrimination”, in my first book Freedom Writers the characters are discriminating against each other. In this novel however the Father discriminates himself and his people. He compares about how his people listen to primitive music and how his people need to work harder so that they can get the same amount of respect as white people.

Four quotations related to major theme:

Quotation #1: 

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

“One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”  

-Franklin Thomas

“How can I be expected to believe that this same racial discrimination which has been the cause of so much injustice and suffering right through the years, should now operate here to give me a fair and open trial?….consider myself neither morally nor legally obliged to obey laws made by a Parliament in which I am not represented. That the will of the people is the basis of the authority of government, is a principle universally acknowledged as sacred throughout the civilized world.”

- Nelson Mandela

“When we’re unemployed, we’re called lazy; when the whites are unemployed it’s called a depression.”  

-Jesse Jackson

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