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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206

Quotes from Cambridge, by Caryl Phillips, can help emphasize a number of different thesis statements you might make about this book concerning 19th-century slavery. There are many provocative quotes in the novel, regardless of what your topic might be.

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For example, there’s this one:

“If I were to be asked if I should enter life anew as an English laborer or a West Indian slave, I should have no hesitation opting for the latter.”

Such quotes can help you get into the mindset of the main character, Emily, as she travels to her father’s plantation in the Caribbean.

Quotes like these will suit many different types of assignments, such as one where you must interact with post-colonial criticism.

In counterpoint to Emily’s quote about her preferring to be a slave with little understanding of what that means, there are quotes from the slave, Cambridge, who responds by saying:

“What freeman would resign his liberty for the bondage of the dog or horse?”

All of this is to say that you should be able to find quotes that illustrate all sides of the novel, regardless of what your take is on how the novel treats the issues of class and race in the setting.

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