Summary and Analysis Project

By: Michael Kanetos

The image above represents Joe, Emma and Sampson on there coach ride to the Henfield Plantation.

Interlude VI, "A New Journey"

     In this Interlude, Sampson is driving Emma and Joe to their new home at the Henfield Plantation. Joe sits in the coch trembling in fear of what his new home will be like on he Henfield Plantation. Sampson tries to calm him down. He tells Joe, “Everything’s going to be alright, son. Mistress Henfield, she a good woman” (96).

     As they are driving to Mistress Henfield’s plantation, Sampson begins to tell Joe what a nice lady Mistress Henfield is. He tells him how she treats her slaves like family. She allows the slaves to have their own gardens. She also allows them go into town for work to make some money on the side after they finish their job at the plantation. Since she allows them to work, she does take a little of everyone’s earnings.

     After Sampson finishes talking, Joe makes a rude remark by saying, “If that’s all you go to say, old man, then you can stop talking” (97). Sampson just wishes he could throw Joe off the coach and leave him sitting on the road, but he knows Mistress Henfield won’t like that. Sampson feels that slavery is the best thing to happen to African-Americans, because without it, everyone would be wandering around the woods looking for some supper each night. Emma just observes the conversation between the two.

Nicely owned plantation, something that Mistress Henfield might own.

Interlude VI, "Their New Destination"

     When one views Interlude VI “Sampson” of Julius Lester’s novel Day of Tears through a Marxist lens, it is clear that one of his strongest intended themes was that, while money can buy the flesh of another, a large plantation or fancy clothes, it cannot buy true happiness or contentment. This is portrayed through how Mistress Henfield has money for a nice house, but needs tending to her living space, so she hires slaves, how Sampson, Emma and Joe all feel differently towards Mistress Henfield, and how Mistress Henfield has power but still treats slaves as if they are a regular person.

As they are driving to Mistress Henfield’s plantation, Sampson begins to tell Joe what a nice lady Mistress Henfield is. He tells him how she treats her slaves like family. She allows the slaves to have their own gardens. She also allows them go into town for work to make some money on the side after they finish their job at the plantation. Since she allows them to work, she does take a little of everyone’s earnings.

After Sampson finishes talking, Joe makes a rude remark by saying, “If that’s all you go to say, old man, then you can stop talking” (97). Sampson just wishes he could throw Joe off the coach and leave him sitting on the road, but he knows Mistress Henfield won’t like that. Sampson feels that slavery is the best thing to happen to African-Americans, because without it, everyone would be wandering around the woods looking for some supper each night. Emma just observes the conversation between the two.

In conclusion, the theme of Interlude VI “Sampson” is portrayed through how Mistress Henfield has money for a nice house, but needs tending to her living space, so she hires slaves, how Sampson, Emma and Joe all feel differently towards Mistress Henfield, and how Mistress Henfield has power but still treats slaves as if they are a regular person. Sampson feels Mistress Henfield is a nice lady, Joe and Emma still don’t know what to think of her yet, until they meet her.

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