Summary and Analysis Project
By: Cassidy Calimer
Chapter 3: "Im Not Your Dog"/ Chapter 12: "A New Life"
In chapter 3, Emma is in Miss Frances and Sarah’s room and the rain is very loud. Frances tells Emma to brush her hair and Emma tries to explain to her that she brushed it that morning already. Frances still demands that Emma brushes her hair. Emma brushes Frances’s hair, but feels like she’s getting treated like a dog. Her mama would have slapped her if she heard Frances talk like that.
Emma bears Sarah crying on the edge of her bed with her head down. Frances calls her a crybaby and Sarah defends herself. Sara grabs Emma's hand and takes her to her mothers rocking chair. Sarah puts her arms around Emma and they rock in the chair together. Frances demands to Emma that she didn’t finish brushing her hair and Emma tells her that Sarah needs her now.
In chapter 12, Emma and Joe are walking along a downtown street. Emma explains how in Philadelphia one is called “Mister” and “Miss” with courtesy. Also, she explains how people are called by two names, but in slavery, they only had one. Emma and Joe decided to name themselves after Mr. Henry because without him they would still be in slavery. They have their own little house together and Joe works for a black smith.
Winnie is also in Philadelphia and she works at a hotel. She blames Charles for the death of her baby and Charles blames Joe. Charles left Winnie and she doesn’t know where he is. Joe doesn't like Philadelphia as much as Emma, but he still thinks life is good. Emma and him go to church every sunday and they were married by the preacher in their church.
Emma and Joe see Miss Fanny and everyone recognizes each other. Emma and Joe explain to Fanny how they escaped from slavery, but Fanny feels that they’re in danger staying in Philadelphia. If Pierce Butler spots them, he could sell them back into slavery, due to the new law. Fanny explains that the new law says a runaway slave can be captured by any white person and sold back into slavery.
Emma asks Fanny what they should do and Fanny tells her she has friends to help them escape into Canada. Fanny promises that someone will come for them that night. Emma asks Fanny how Sarah and Francis are doing. She explains that Sarah always talks about Emma and Francis misses Emma when her father’s not around. Fanny thanks Emma for taking such good care of them. Emma, Joe and Fanny Kemble all say their goodbyes while a gentle rain starts falling.
Analysis: Behaviors of Human Beings
Julius Lester's view on race shines through his novel Day of Tears in chapter three and twelve, especially when a viewer examines the text through a historical perspective. His presenting of slavery and racism truly prove that the easing of racial tension in America may have prompted Lester to write the novel to paint out both good an evil in both blacks and whites during slavery.
In chapter three, Emma is an example of how not all slaves are evil towards their masters. Frances keeps bugging Emma to brush her hair and Emma states, "She has never spoken to me like I'm a dog and she can make me stay put on her say-so." Even though Frances is being obnoxious and ordering Emma around, Emma still provides for Master Butler's kids, while treating them like her own. Emma could be a slave who tries to escape her plantation, but she enjoys taking care of Master Butler's daughters, In chapter twelve, whites are shown as good and evil. Fanny Kemble sees Emma and Joe in Philadelphia and warns them that Master Butler now lives in Philadelphia. If he were to see them, due to the new law, he could sell them back into slavery. She told them she could help them escape to Canada to finally be free. Fanny didn't have to warn them, but she was being considerate and was thinking about their future. An evil act of a white person in this chapter is of Master Butler. If he could, he would sell Emma and Joe back into slavery, but only if he found them. In both chapters three and twelve, Lester portrays the acts of both good and evil in blacks and whites.
In Julius Lester's novel Day of Tears, he gave us a different viewpoint on slavery. He revealed to us that not all slaves are good and not all are evil.v For example, one of Mrs. Henfields slave, Sampson, is a good and respective slave. He had many opportunities to leave the plantation, but he said it was best not to because Mrs. Henfield treats him just right. She lets her slaves have their own garden and feeds the sufficiently. An example of a good lave that changed to evil is Mattie. She was a good slave under Master Butler until he sold her daughter away. That infuriated her, so she spit in his food and served it to him. Then, Lester portrays white people that are good and evil throughout his book. For example, Master Butler was a good slave owner and treated his slaves well. Then, he became evil when he sold off his slaves due to the debt he owed from gambling. One of the worst decisions he made was selling Emma. He ripped her from her family and from Master Butler's daughters. Like stated before, one of the good white people mentioned was Fanny Kemble. She left Master Butler and her children because she couldn't stand that she was surrounded by slavery. Also, she helped Emma and Joe escape being sold back into slavery by having a friend take them to Canada. As you can see, Julius Lester portrayed good and evil through many characters in this novel.
Not just in my two chapters, but throughout the whole novel, Julius Lester provides us with a theme that describes good and evil doings of whites and slaves. By inspecting his work through a historical lens, we can see how this novel is related to history of slavery. The easing of racial tensions allowed Julius Lester to provide us with a true representation of how people behave during slavery. The truth existing that slaves and white slave owners performed acts of good and evil.