All Men Are Free
At its heart is the question of slavery. It is appalling to the modern reader that this vile trade ever existed. Slaves were not seen as people but commodities. Some were treated well, others not but a palace is as much of a prison as a shack if you are not free.
Oney was a forward thinking young woman who wanted not only her freedom. “I’ve had enough of bein’ property. I wanna own my own body.” She wanted an education too. She was a very brave young woman.
The novel surrounds the plight of women. Even those who thought they were free, were actually subject to the will of their husbands.