Summary & Analysis Project
BY: Matt Schaaf
The river that Joe and Emma needed to cross.
Chapter 8:The Start of The Future
This chapter takes place in the kitchen of the Henfield Plantation, which is in Kentucky. Emma is sitting in the kitchen and is thinking to herself. She says she loves the part of the day where Joe comes inside and helps her clean up, then they talk about thing like her mama and papa did. since Sampson has been sick, Joe drives Mistress Henfield to town and he wound up getting a job there.
Emma then has a conversation with Joe. She says that Mistress Henfield keeps asking her if she likes it better with her and she says yes, but she doesn't mean it. she says it is less work, but it would be better if she was with her parents. If Joe wasn't there she said she wouldn't know what to do with herself. Joe then tells Emma that he really liked her and that he wanted to get married. Emma says she can't get married with him, now because then they will have kids and she doesn't want her kid to be a slave.
Joe then tells Emma that there is a way that they could become free. He says that the boss of the store he worked at, Mr. Henry, asked him about being free. Joe said he didn't know what to say, was it a trick or was he serious. Then he said that Mr. Henry apologized and then said he shouldn't have asked that. Mr. Henry said there was a river and on the other side there wasn't slavery. He then said he knew people that could get Joe to freedom, but Joe didn't know weather or not to believe him.
Joe said the next day Mr. Henry made the letter A, and started to teach Joe how to read. Joe then made the letter A for Emma. Then Emma asked about being free. Then Joe repeated what he said earlier about what Mr. Henry told him. Emma said he heard Mistress Henfield talking about the river and that there was a city on the other side. Joe said Mr. Henry told him the name of the city too. Now they know that Mr. Henry is telling the truth. Joe then asks if they make it will she marry him. She says and that they will have as many children has he wants. Joe asks to bring Charles, but Emma doesn't want to. Joe says that he won't tell and that Winnie and the baby will come too. Emma is unsure but says ok.
Analysis: Not Like The Others
One who examines chapter8, "The Henfield Plantation", from the book Day Of Tears by Julius Lester through the historical lens will find the economic, social, and political problems of this time period. By doing this one would find that the easing of racist tensions in America may have prompted Lester to write the novel to point out the duality of both good and evil in both blacks and whites during this time period. This book especially shows you this difference.
As you take a closer look into chapter 8 using the historical lens you truly discover the theme of the story. In this chapter you have a white businessman who risks everything to help Joe and Emma cross the Ohio River. In this time period the North didn't have slaves, but the South did. By helping Joe and Emma cross the Ohio River, he was helping them become free. This was not the normal perspective we have been taught about people in that time period. there weren't white people that risked everything to help slaves escape. We weren't taught about that and by looking at this chapter through the historical lens truly proves are theme.
Looking at the entire novel through the historical lens truly lets you get a deeper meaning from this book. This book is not similar to other books of this time period. Most books in this time period just show the terrible nature of slavery and usually have no kind white characters. Also, there are white characters like Sarah, Mistress Butler, and Mr. Henry who oppose slavery. This viewpoint was not common by white people in the south during this time period. Having this viewpoint was very brave, and not shown in most books about this time period.
As you can see, looking through the historical lens proves our theme. This book showed a very different side of slavery and a perspective that has not been taught. This book had several white characters from the south that opposed slavery. Also, it didn't show the brutal and terrible side of slavery. By looking through the historical lens we were able to see this deeper meaning.
This is one different flower just like this book is different then those of this time period.