Subtleties of race and the intricacies of Jamaica’s social hierarchy play an important role in the development of the novel’s main themes. Whites born in England are distinguished from the white Creoles, descendants of Europeans who have lived in the West Indies for one or more generations. Further complicating the social structure is the population of black ex-slaves who maintain their own kinds of stratification. Christophine , for instance, stands apart from the Jamaican servants because she is originally from the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Furthermore, there is a large mixed-race population, as white slave owners throughout the Caribbean and the Americas were notorious for raping and impregnating female slaves. Sandi and Daniel Cosway, two of Alexander Cosway’s illegitimate children, both occupy this middle ground between black and white society.


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