Summary and Analysis Paper
By:Michael Atallah

This picture is relevant to the chapter because Joe learns the ticket to his freedom at Mr.Henry's general store.

Chapter VIII:

     In Chapter 8 of Day of Tears "The Henfield Plantation" Sampson has become sick so Mistress Henfield has Joe drive the carriage into town for her. After a few trips he picked up a job working for the general store. This is where it all began, the end of a new life and the start of a new one. The owner, Mr.Henry, told Joe something very illegal, the way to get his ticket out of slavery. After a few more visits Mr.Henry starts to teach Joe how to read and write the letters. All these risks started to convince Joe Mr.Henry was on his side, but he truly didn't believe it yet.

     This information surprised Joe. He didn't know if he should accept it as a sign of help or a trap. Questions like "Is he working for Mistress Henfield?" or "Does he get slaves in trouble for a living?" were running through his head. That night when he went home to have his nightly dinner with Emma, he brings up possibly getting married. Emma denies it, she wouldn't want to bring a child into this terrible world full of slavery. Then, he lets her know of his newly acquired information and she was stunned. They talk about a dinner the Mistress had where a bunch of white folk were talking about slaves running away to places and the places spoke of were the ones Mr.Henry told Joe.

     At this point, Joe is starting to become all for using this information and getting him and Emma out of slavery for good. Emma was very skeptical about going because of all of the risk factors. After talking about it for a while Emma finally agrees to trusting the information given only if they bring Charles and Whinny. Thinking of the risk of Charles's father Sampson finding out Joe fights about them not going for a little then gives in. Once more Joe asks if they become free will she marry him. Not only did she say yes, she said she would give him as many babies as he would like. They then hug and the chapter ends.



  Males and females alike were equally instrumental in the destruction of the institution of slavery. This theme shows itself as common in the book Day of Tears by Julius Lester in Chapter VIII “The Henfield Plantation”. Looking at this book and chapter through the feminist lens you will see the common stereotypes broken and followed, evidence of women’s strength during this time period, and the characteristics of masculinity and femininity.

    Specifically, in Chapter VIII you can see how the characteristics of masculinity and femininity and how women's stereotypes are followed. A prime example of this is  towards the end of the chapter when Emma says "We don't know what we are getting ourselves into. If it was just Charles maybe. But Winnie and the baby, too? I don't know Joe." Her concern for Winnie and the baby is similar to society's concern for women and babies. Also Emma not worrying about Charles if he came alone shows that she believes that he could take care of himself. This can relate back to the stereotype that men are the stronger gender.

     An example of the common stereotypes being broken in Day of Tears is Emma showing the strength of taking the risk of running away off of the plantation. If that situation was played out by stereotypical means, she  would have been scared to even think of the idea of leaving. This also shows evidence that women showed some strength during this time period. Winnie also deciding to take this journey with her baby is another of many examples of women's strength. Some of the characteristics of masculinity are Joe's daring decision to leave the plantation, being brave about running away, and Charles quick and impulsive thinking to do anything to get their freedom, even by knocking his father unconscious. Femininity was shown when Emma cared for Winnie, the baby and Charles when her and Joe decided to leave.

     In conclusion, in the book Day of Tears many things are shown through the feminist lens such as how common stereotypes are broken, evidence of women's strength during this time period and the characteristics of femininity and masculinity.  Many examples can be give such as Emma's will to run away, Winnie deciding to take the journey with her baby, Joe's braveness, Charles' quick and impulsive thinking, and Emma's care for the people she is with.

Comment Stream