The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines is a great novel and one book that I will not soon forget. This book had a very inspiring and exciting story to tell. The story is set in the time of the Civil War. It begins by introducing us to a young slave woman around the age of eleven or twelve, named Ticey, who is recently freed from working on a plantation. Even though she is free in a legal sense at the moment, it will take Ticey years to reach real freedom. The story involves her new life and the many trials and tribulations in which she must endure. It also sheds light on the issues of racism, inequality, and prejudice. This book influenced me to become an even stronger person because Ticey, although made to believe that she was nothing and would never amount to anything, never gave up in her long struggle for freedom and independence, even when she saw and witnessed many of freed slaved killed. In her quest for self-determination, she changed her name to Jane because Ticey was a name given to her by her master and thought of as a slave name but a Yankee solider by the name of Mr. Brown named her Jane. Her strong-willed nature and "tough as nails" attitude helped set the tone for the entire book.
The author of this book, Ernest Gaines, was born in 1933 on River Lake Plantation in Louisiana. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was published in 1972 and was written during the prime of his writing career because his first short story was published in 1956. The fact that this story was written in the 70s by a man who was born on a plantation speaks highly of his credibility. He is also African American, which shows that he has a relation to his story because of the racial theme included in it.
There are two themes that stand out the most in this book. The most prominent theme in this book of course is racism, both inside and outside the black race. Outside the black race is a collection of characters that display the many evils of racism.