Why was Jessie chosen to narrate "The Slave Dancer?"

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Paula Fox's choice to write "The Slave Dancer" in the first person, of Jessie Bollier's voice, is an excellent choice.  Jessie brings an innocence to the story, because his family doesn't have any slaves.  He has no actual experiences with slavery, so when we "hear" Jessie tell his story his emotions are raw and real.  When Jessie is kidnapped and taken aboard the "Moonlight" slave ship, he is terrified but excited.  We feel his sorrow, his anger, and his disgust with the actual mission of this ship.  When he is beaten, we can feel the lashes on his back. and we can see the growth and change take place in this young man.  Without Jessie telling this story it would not have been nearly as realistic or raw.  Jessie's voice keeps the reader turning pages from the beginning to the end.

"Fox juxtaposes accurately drawn emotion with exact detail of place, time, and people, making the events—and the emotions—seem absolutely real."

jrunk8585 | Student

The Slave Dancer is a children's book.  A child would relate better hearing the story told by another child.

lilmamalipgloss98 | Student

because he is the main character and everything is told by his point of veiw. in the version of the book that i read it told us in the back what happened and why. this is how i got my answer