Summary and Analysis Project

By Jasmine Nguyen

Many slaves escaped slavery by crossing the Ohio River.

Chapter : " A Glimpse of Hope"

     Everyday after Joe is done taking care of the horses and mules and after Emma is done serving Mistress her supper, they have their own supper together where they talk and accompany eachother. Emma looks foward to this everyday. Ever since Sampson got sick, Joe drives Mistress Heinfield into town whenever she needs whivch presented Joe the opportunity of taking on a job in town. During supper, Emma tells Joe how much she appreciates him and their relationship. Joe suggests they get married, however, Emma does not want her children to grow up into slavery. Joe tells Emma that there that there is a way for them to be  free.

     He tells her about his boss, Mr. Henry, who surprisingly asked him if he ever thought of being free but Joe does not know if he can trust a White Man. When Joe became speechless, Mr. Henry apologized and then mentioned the Ohio River. He explained how there is slaves on one side and no slaves on the other and that he knows people who want to help slaves escape slavery. Joe didnt have to be a slave anymore. Then, Joe tells Emma about how Mr. Henry used sticks to teach him what the letter "A" looks like. Joe could not believe he was being taught how to read by a white man. Emma recalls mistress talking about the Ohio River and the city of Cincinnati. She believes Mr. Henry is a trustworthy man. Joe asks Emma if she would be his wife if they make it to Cincinnati and she agrees. They also decide to bring Charles and Winnie along on their journey to freedom.  



Analysis Essay: "The Truth"

     Julius Lester's view on race shines through his novel, Day of Tears, especially when examined in a historical point of view in Chapter 8: "The Heinfield Plantation". Over time, humanity has thought of the caucasian as the antagonist. However, Lester portrays the duality of both good and evil of both races.

     Mr. Henry is the perfect example of Lester's way of showing the good in the caucasian race during slavery that not many people were aware of. Usually, people assume caucasians were evil and brutal people, however, in Chapter 8, Joe explains how Mr. Henry. a white store owner, offered to help him reach freedom and taught him how to read. Helping a slave to freedom was an action that could result in extreme consequences. Although we assume caucasians as the bad guys, Lester reveals the truth about slavery.

     The truth is not only revealed in Chapter 8, it is also shown all throughout the story. For example, Sampson. a slave at the Heinfield plantation is not the typical slave we imagine. Actually, he is the complete opposite. Many people learned that every slave throughout history desired to be a free man, however, Lester gives a prime example of a slave who believed that slavery was a benefactor to African Americans. To his belief, slave owners provided everything for them and they would not have anywhere to go without them.

     Another great example that Lester provides throughout his story is Mistress Heinfield. In general, slave owners were wrong, but Mistress Heinfield was different than the slave owner we imagined. We often associate slave owners with brutality, unfairness, and insensitivity. However, Mistress Heinfield did not live up to our expectations. She allowed her slaves to have jobs on their own and keep some money and she did not demand hard labor on slaves. In some way, she was a fair person and slaves, Emma as an example, were grateful to work for her.

      All throughout his novel, Lester proves our previous knowledge of Slavery's history false. Our idea of slave owners and slaves are different than the reality of it. We associated the good with one race and the bad with the other without realizing it varies. Reading Day of Tears through a historical point of view teaches you and enlightens you on history's truth. It helps you understand what it was really like back in the time of slavery.

Comment Stream