Essay about The Whipping Boy

1302 Words Oct 23rd, 2013 6 Pages
”The Whipping Boy” written by Richard Gibney

One of the most important events in the history of the United States of America is the Civil War from 1861-65. The war started because of the issue of slavery. It was a war where only America participated; it was a war between the Northern states, called the Union, and the Southern slave states, the Confederate States of America. The Union wanted to get rid of slavery in the USA, but the Confederacy did not want this, mostly because a lot of them owned slaves and needed them in their production of cotton. The war ends with a massive surrender of the Confederacy, 620.000 soldiers were killed and the slaves are free men, or are they really? The short story ”The Whipping Boy” written by Richard
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At that time white people and black people did not intermix. Mikey has been in trouble many times for stealing glances at Martha, when Sterling was around.
Everything is upside down when Sterling returns from the war. He does not show his sorrow for his loss in the war, but he just assumes that everything is as usual. But it is not. Mikey and Tommy do not approve of how Sterling pokes Mikey with the poker from the fireplace and they decide to show him that: “We’s free to do as we like” (l. 78). It is years of hatred that is put into a whip, so they can harm Sterling as he, his family and their dogs have done to them.

The short story takes place in the Southern States of America, where the Confederacy ruled during the Civil War. This is showed in how Sterling disagrees with the slaves about their freedom, and how the slaves end up being executed by other Confederacy soldiers on their way to Richmond, the capital of Virginia. The social environment in this short story is also very interesting, because it is important to know that the Gage Family owns the slaves. The slaves do not have any rights or freedom. They have to obey orders every day of their lives. This, the rights and the independency, is what the Union fought for in the war. This fits really well with the simple colloquial language, where the slaves do not speak correct English. “You gwyne take that?” (l.77), where gwyne is not even an English word, but in your head you can hear the accent

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