This book describes the traumatic events in the life of a young female slave in the 1850's. This event took place during a period of time when the state of Missouri was proslavery. The emotional upheaval in the life of this slave was due to the lack of power this young girl had against the unlimited power of her owner.
In response to the allegations, the defense tried to show that a female slave should have the right to protect herself from abuse by any means, from all types of abuse. The court refused to instruct the jury on this point because even free white women did not have the right to say "No" to their own husbands, with regard to sexual intercourse. How could they justify allowing a slave woman to say "No" to her master? The female slaves .
were the property of their masters and therefore had to submit to their desires regardless of how they felt about towards the owner. .
The author's argument states that regardless of color, slavery puts human beings in specific situations that "Forced them to make and act upon personal decisions of a fundamentally moral nature". In other words, what he was trying to say is that slavery forces people to sometimes take drastic measures in order to protect their morals and beliefs. Today, all people have rights to protect themselves from abuse. .
I believe the actual crime was committed the first time Celia was raped by her new master. Robert Newsom, a wealthy landowner, who was also a slave owner, was described as a demented individual and the sexual act itself was described as violent. It was also noted that sex with a fourteen-year-old slave girl would have "raised a storm of moral outrage among white southerners. Although it was obvious to the readers that Robert Newsom purchased Celia for the sole purpose of replacing his deceased wife's sexual affections, this child most likely had no idea about sex. Newsom believed because he owned Celia, he could do with her as he liked without guilt or consent.