The Disposition and Dispensation of Aleatory Life
The second chapter offers an extended reading of A Harlot’s Progress that illustrates the novel’s spectacular orchestration of far-flung art-historical citations taken from the social satires of William Hogarth. By depicting the search of an eighteenth-century abolitionist for an authentic, first-person account of the violence of slavery, the novel underscores the condition of human life at the intersection of law and commerce, and the problematic relationship between the reading public and the instances of cruelty on which they are easily transfixed.
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