A Mercy By Toni Morrison Essay example

A Mercy By Toni Morrison Essay example

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Throughout the novel A Mercy by Toni Morrison, the male characters each portray display different views on what freedom means. Centered around the idea of family, these characters each chase freedom in a way unique to them. The first male character that plays a significant role, is Jacob Vaark. Vaark is introduced early in the novel. He grows up as an orphan, then moves to England. After traveling from England to Maryland, he inherited land from his Dutch uncle. Although he acquires slaves, he never considers himself as a slave owner.
Vaark does not consider his farm a plantation, he sees it more as an orphan home. This is a recurring idea throughout the novel, as the reader learns that he was an orphan himself. He has a kind heart, and does not even mistreat his animals. Although his wife Rebekka has had children, none of them survived except for one, and the one that survived was killed. After the child was killed, Vaark then acquired another slave close to the age of the deceased child. He did this not only to please his wife, but to save her from the cruel treatment of her owner. This can be seen as a form of adoption as the Vaark’s accept the newly acquired slave into their family, and treat her as a child.
The first quality that Vaark displays is ambition. At any given point in the novel, Vaark continues to build and work for the things that he wants. This is symbolic to the idea of the American Dream, as he continues to build and grow his empire. Through his trading, he continues to accumulate wealth. During the period of slavery, many white European males were sold on the idea that America was the place to go to become rich. This notion was fueled by slavery, and although Vaark does not like slavery he still participates...


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...haracters continued to work towards their freedom. Not all of them achieved their idea of freedom. The biggest sacrifice made came from Jacob, he changed the most, and caused animosity between him and his spouse. Due to D’Ortega having unfortunate luck, and being in a dirty business, he had no true sacrifices to make. As Will developed throughout the novel he achieved his idea of being free. Will’s idea of freedom had a physical element to it, and after no longer being an indentured servant, and receiving pay for his work, this idea was accomplished. The blacksmith never achieved his idea of freedom. The state of him being a mental slave showed throughout the last few chapters of the book. Through the different qualities of the characters, they each have a different idea of what freedom is. Like life, many people chase their idea of freedom, but very few achieve it.

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