The Lost Life of Ira Daniel Aldridge (Part 2)
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Ira Daniel’s story is not just a case study of a failed father-son relationship. It also presents us with an example of the hardships faced by migrants who move from one society to another in which they must struggle to fit in and survive. This is especially difficult for migrants who look different from most of those in the community they are entering, so this is a tale about strained race relations too. And it takes place in a penal colony where punishments were severe, even for those who committed petty offences. Ira Daniel tried at first to make an honest living, but finally, in desperation, he broke the law and ended up incarcerated in brutal conditions. He was a victim of his environment but also of his own inability to cope with the pressures of settling in a foreign land. Displacement drove him to fail.