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by 20kellnerm
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts
Reading Comprehension

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What causes Eben's views on race and freedom to change?

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Eben's views on race and freedoms change when he starts to understand the harships of Curzon's life as a slave. The author decribes Eben's opinions at the beginning of the novel as, "'They can't be free. They're slaves. Their masters decide for them'" (Anderson 65). This demonstrates that Eben thinks that slaves have no right to be free simply because they aren't in charge of their own life; their masters are. The development of Eben's feeling towards this subject can be seenwhen he says, "'You're still a soldier, Curzon. What's the point of being a soldier if you can't count on your mates?'" (Anderson 222). This changes the story because it shows that Eben is still loyal and ready to help his black friend escape, even when before he claimed that slaves shouldn't be free. Through Curzon, Ebenezer realizes that race should have no place in deciding someone's future.


Burns bothers Curzon with racist insults, crude comments about his family, by spitting at him, and even attacking and stealing from him because of his race and the thought that he may be a slave. Examples of this cruel behavior were described by Curzon as, "[Burns] spat at my feet when he walked by. He accused me of stealing my new hat. He said the crudest kinds of things" (Anderson 54). This shows that John Burns constantly attacks Curzon with his ways, even when he's done nothing wrong, proving that John holds a grudge. Another description of John's descrimination is shown as, "'You there, negar of the Burns company, I will have your boots'" (Anderson 136-137). This creates the understanding that Burns is out to get Curzon. He not only yells a racist slur, but demands his clothes for absolutely no reason other than the fact that they don't share the same skin color.

How and why does Burns make trouble for Curzon?

How does Bellingham use his position as a White man to control Curzon?

James Bellingham uses his power as a White man to control Curzon by claiming that Curzon is 'his,' even though he was freed. The author sets up the reader's expectation with, "'[Bellingham] agreed [Curzon] would be free when his enlistment expired. That was over a year ago'" (Anderson 162). This shows that Curzon should be a free man, and Bellingham should especially know this, as they were his words. James should have no say in Curzon's life. The author changes the story with Belligham claiming, "'My circumstances have changed. You will do as I say'" (Anderson 162-163). This further illustrates that Bellingham is allowed to toy with Curzon's world how he likes with out trouble. It's easy to infer that this is because Bellingham is a white man, and Curzon isn't.


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