A Mercy -Toni Morrison

1145 WordsMar 2, 20135 Pages
The lives of slaves in the 1600’s can be compared to the life of orphans that have been moved back and forth from home to home. They have no idea where they’re going to end up and who they’re going to end up with. They’re lives are already difficult but illnesses and diseases can make it a lot more difficult. They live day by day not knowing what’s going to happen next. Sometimes, slaves are treated more like animals than humans. Other times, they were treated with a little respect. Slaves in the northern colonies of America were treated differently depending on different religions and cultures. In the novel, a Mercy, Toni Morrison sympathizes towards the lives of slaves and slave owners in the 1600’s. A Mercy is based on a…show more content…
After 1682, as the number of slaves rose, fears of insurrection mounted, restrictions were applied and public controls began to be enacted”( Eckhaus, Phyllis, 15). “It had become illegal for more than four slaves to meet together on their own time” (Eckhaus, Phyllis, 15). All of these restrictions and laws show that people in that time period had very little trust towards slaves. In the book, Morrison portrays the characters as people who have different morals. Jacob Vaark was uncomfortable with gaining a slave, Florens, for a debt that he owed. “‘Ridiculous’ said D’Ortega. ‘You sell them. Do you know the prices they garner?’ Jacob winced. Flesh was not his commodity.”(Morrison, 20). This quote shows that Vaark was not interested in slavery, but knew that he had to find a way to pay his debt. Another character in the novel that shows her morals is Lina. Lina is one of Jacob and Rebekka Vaark’s servants. She is very close to Rebekka and Florens. When Lina finds out that Florens has to go on a dangerous journey to find a blacksmith, she starts to pray. “Now, amazingly, she was praying. For what, to what, Lina did not know.”(Morrison, 66). This shows that Lina has a religion even though she’s indifferent about it. The fact that Rebekka is close to Lina and treats her more as a daughter than a servant, shows that she has good morals and doesn’t approve of slavery. Throughout the novel, Toni Morrison’s attitude is sympathetic towards the characters and
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