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Explain memorable quotations from The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

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countrywide | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 11, 2012 at 5:27 AM via web

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Explain memorable quotations from The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Jane's narrative spans from slavery to Civil Rights and it is this that makes it so effective.  As a slave heading North, Jane, as a child, utters one of the most powerful quotes of the narrative:

We ain't giving up," I said. "We done gone this far.

This quote is significant because it shows the struggle and the level of perseverance that has dominated Jane's life from the earliest stages all the way until the narrative's end.  It reflects how committed she is to that which is right.  Even on a localized level, this quote shows a sense of character and dignity that is intrinsic to her being.

After Ned's death, Jane utters a statement of being that shows her to be highly evolved and more self- actualized than many, Black or White, were then and now:

 Memories wasn't a place, memories was in the mind.

With Ned dying and everything that such trauma entailed, Jane understood clearly that her sense of being cannot be fully changed through physicality.  Emancipation is both physical and mental.  The idea of "memories" living in the realm of the subjective is a powerful quality in that it shows how much Jane understands what reality is.  In this experience, she is able to fully grasp what it means to be human.  There is a state of being in which physical change is secondary to that of the subjective or mental.  It is here where Jane becomes a powerful figure, one that recognizes her state of being and what is involved within it.  At the same time, such a quote reflects how much the lens of complexity plays in Jane's narrative, one that makes her commitment to the movement that much persuasive.  In a world of conflicting and complexities, Jane recognizes the simplistic call to action as the tie that binds.

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