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Auther-Laurie Halse Anderson

Forge Writing Assesmentby Kennedy Brown


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

How and why does Burns make trouble for Curzon?

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

Eben's views on race and freedom are changed when Curzon is taken away from Valley Forge to become a slave. Eben is described at the beginning of the text as, "'But the colonel's slaves are not allowed to be free.' He frowned. 'They can't be free, Curzon. They're slaves. Their master decides for them'"(Anderson, page 65). This shows that Eben doesn't understand that two slaves running away is different from America wanting to be free of England because he doesn't realize that enslaving people is bad. Now, Eben described at the end of the text, "'You're still a soldier, Curzon. You signed up till the end of the war, remember?' Eben looked at me square in the eye. 'What's the point of being a soldier if you can't count on your mates?'" (Anderson, page 222). This shows that Eben now thinks that being a slave when you are free is not fair and that it is okay to run away.

Burns makes trouble for Curzon by giving him hard jobs to do and he was always waiting for him to make a mistake so he could punish him or get him in trouble. Burns did this to Curzon because he doesn't trust him and he thinks he is a liar and a thief because he is black. An example of Burns's actions are, "'Please do,' Burns answered. 'I've already told him what a trouble maker you are. He is not fond of dark-skinned soldiers, did you know that? He thinks it is against the laws of nature. Anything you say he'll take for a lie'" (Anderson, page 137). This is showing that Burns is one step ahead of Curzon and that he is threatening Curzon. Another description of Burns's actions are, "Burns was ever watchful of my movements, looking for an excuse to report or punish me" (Anderson, page 123). This explains that Burns will do whatever it takes to get Curzon in trouble because he doesn't think black people should have the same rights as white people.

Bellingham uses his position as a white man to control Curzon by ordering him around and using him as a slave. A description of Bellingham controlling Curzon is,"'Curzon,' he said softly, 'I own you'"(Anderson, page 162). This shows that Bellingham doesn't care about what Curzon thinks because he is black and Bellingham automatically assumes that he can re-own Curzon again. Another description of Bellingham controlling Curzon is, "'Everything is a trade, you know, even between a master and a servant,' Bellingham said"(Anderson, page 195). This shows that Bellingham cares little for Curzon and he doesn't matter what happens with him or where he ends up in the future because he is black and a slave.

Links/SourcesAll examples in the paragraphs are from the book "The Forge" by Laurie Halse Anderson. The video is from youtube, and the URL is The photos I got off the internet.


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