1. What is the genre of this narrative? Does it resemble any other fiction or histories of its time?
  2. What are some notable features of the preface? Why do you think it was included? Do you think a testament to the text's authenticity was needed?
  3. Whom do you think was the intended audience for this book? Do you agree with the editor's decision to standardize the punctuation and spelling?
  4. What do you think may be features of Mary Prince's account designed to please a British abolitionist audience?
  5. What were some significant facts of Prince's life? Under what circumstances was she first reared, and what were her relations with other family members? What status did she seem to hold in Jamaican society at her birth and afterwards?
  6. What were conditions of her life as a slave?
  7. What may have prompted her religious conversion?
  8. What factors may have helped motivate the cruelties perpetuated against her, in your opinion? What were unusual features of her life as a slave?
  9. What were some factors in her situation which enabled her to escape from the Woods' control?
  10. Do you think any important aspects of her life story may have been omitted?
  11. What attitudes toward work and economics does Prince assert in her conclusion? Would these have been the expected views for a servant of the time? (values labor in a "free market")
  12. What are qualities of the narrative's style?
  13. Can you discern tensions in the narrative which result from its intended purpose as an anti-slavery treatise? Are some facts or opinions emphasized which might otherwise have been omitted, and facts downplayed which might otherwise have been included?
  14. Is it a feature of the slave narrative that the body of the slave is placed on display? Is this necessary for the sake of the argument, and are there possible tensions/complications which this can create? Do you feel that features of her experience are sensationalized?
  15. If you are using the University of Michigan edition, do you have comments on Moira Ferguson's introduction? What background information does she provide?
  16. If you have read Robert Wedderburn's accounts of his life, what are some differences between Mary Prince's and Robert Wedderburn's accounts of slavery? Which book do you think was more effective as an abolitionist tract? As a narrative?

Additional Documents:

What is added by the additional documents at the back of the book? Who was Thomas Pringle, and what is added by his arguments against Mr. Wood and his citation of other witnesses?

What motives do you think caused the Woods to refuse payment to permit Mary her freedom? Did this involve them in difficulties of their own?

What may have been some of the reasons for the repeated discussion of Mary Prince's personal conduct, respectability, and marriage? Are there inconsistencies in some of Mr. Wood's charges?

What are some ways in which the conflicts and lawsuits over the representations of Mary Prince's character are related to the pro-slavery/anti-slavery debates?

What are some parallel or contrasting features in the testimony of Asa-Asa?

How were the debates in these documents reflected in a 1994 controversy over a Bermudan travel brochure?