A Mercy Essay

1038 words - 5 pages

A Mercy opens with Florens, a black slave, about sixteen years old, on a journey to visit the lover to whom she is addressing her thoughts and feelings. Florens is a literate slave, taught by a priest in defiance of the law. Florens recalls how she was given to her present master, Jacob Vaark, in partial settlement of a debt her prior master, a slave owner from the brutal Portuguese slave colony of Angola, owes to Vaark. Vaark is offered Florens and her mother, but her mother encourages Vaark to take only Florens because her mother is still nursing a baby boy. Florens, about eight years old when she is taken, recounts her shock, pain, and bitterness at this abandonment by her minha mae, “my ...view middle of the document...

He is revealed to be the African blacksmith, never enslaved, who has fashioned iron gates with kissing cobras for Vaark’s new house. Vaark contracts smallpox and dies, after which Rebekka, Vaark’s wife, finds two small sores inside her mouth. The household is quarantined, and Rebekka has sent Florens to bring back the blacksmith, who has medical knowledge. As the section ends, Florens settles for the night in a tree, the only place she is safe from human and animal predators.

The fourth chapter focuses on Messalina, or "Lina," purchased by Vaark before he brought Rebekka to the New World as his wife. Lina’s story, told in the third person, recounts her beginnings in Vaark’s household, her friendship with Rebekka (based on their respective weaknesses and strengths), the addition of Sorrow (the foundling) to the household, and the acquisition of two indentured servants, Willard and Scully. Babies born of Rebekka and Sorrow die early. In the present, Lina sees Vaark’s new house as a vain folly that has killed trees “without asking their permission,” and that has unsurprisingly led to his death and the precarious status of the remaining Vaark “family,” with orphaned females and a dying Mistress. As the section ends, Lina wonders whether Florens, on her journey to the blacksmith, will return at all, with or without the blacksmith.
Rahmat akan terbuka dengan Florens, seorang budak hitam, sekitar enam belas tahun, dalam perjalanan untuk mengunjungi sang kekasih kepada siapa dia menangani pikiran dan perasaan. Florens adalah budak melek huruf, diajarkan oleh seorang imam bertentangan dengan hukum. Florens ingat bagaimana ia diberikan untuk menguasai hadiahnya, Jacob Vaark, dalam penyelesaian sebagian utang induk sebelum nya, pemilik budak dari koloni budak brutal Portugis Angola, berutang untuk Vaark. Vaark ditawarkan Florens dan ibunya, tapi ibunya mendorong Vaark untuk mengambil Florens hanya karena ibunya masih menyusui bayi laki-laki. Florens, sekitar delapan tahun ketika dia diambil, menceritakan keterkejutannya, nyeri, dan kepahitan pada pengabaian ini oleh dia minha mae, "ibuku" dalam bahasa Portugis.

Bab kedua, diberitahu oleh seorang narator orang ketiga yang mengungkapkan pikiran dan perasaan Yakub, menceritakan perjalanan Vaark untuk bertemu dengan D'Ortega dan sesuatu cerita sebagai seorang yatim piatu dan penerima dari 120 hektar di Dunia Baru. Vaark, seorang...

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