Jubilee Margaret Walker Analysis

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Margaret Walker’s historical novel entitled Jubilee, brilliantly describes the life story of Vyry who was the daughter of Hetta, a house slave and her master, John. As Walker tells the story of Vyry’s life, she takes the reader through the youthful, jubilant days of Vyry’s childhood, through her deep dark days of slavery, her positive and negative experiences with love, and her experiences with her children. Finally, Walker paints a beautiful picture of freedom for Vyry. After having read and assessed the validity of Jubilee as it deals with slavery, free black people, and the Civil War, and with an understanding that Walker heard the story as a child from her grandmother, then supported by some thirty years of research, it is evident that…show more content…
Under his supervision were the field laborers. The field slaves were to answer to Grimes, often times even during the rare occasions that Master John was on the plantation. For the most part, “Big Missy,” Master John’s wife, was in charge of the house slaves. She was very strict and demanding in them having the house cleaned and breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared to her exact specifications; when and how she wanted it. Although we didn’t find any on Master John’s plantation in Jubilee, the chain of command as viewed through a historical lens of slavery often times included, artisans and craftspeople as well. Many of them were brick masons, carpenters, and iron workers. Many times these artisans were only found on large plantations and if a plantation wasn’t large then some of these skilled slaves would be rented out to other plantations. In addition, children and the elderly were also included in the chain of command often found on a plantation. In a historical context, many children did not realize that they were slaves until they were about five or six years of age, as did Vyry. Vyry’s relationship with little Miss Lillian went through some unexpected changes through Vyry’s youthful eyes. It was…show more content…
Masters would often times use religion as a cultural and psychological approach to control. During a “Fourth of July celebration” whereupon two female slaves were to be hanged for killing their master, the judge reminded the slaves of their duties to their masters as it was stated in the Bible. “Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death…this is the eternal word of God, and God cannot lie: the murdered shall surely be put to death. He went on to say, “And remember what the word of God says to you slaves: Servants obey in all things your masters. God meant for you to have masters. God meant for you to be slaves. God meant for you to be humble, obedient, honest, truthful, and God-fearing servants of your earthly masters.” (Walker, 123) This irrational and unfair use of psychological control over these slaves, as it relates to religion, was clearly used in Jubilee as a valid representation and constant reminder of how whites slave owners tried to support the system of slavery by making a mockery of God’s Word. A second approach to control seen both in Jubilee and through a historical context of slavery is denying slaves the right to read and write. Brother Ezekiel was a prominent figure and preacher in Jubilee. The whites did not know that he could read and write. Often times Vyry went to him to have him read letters and such to her since she,
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