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ForgeLaurie HalseAnderson

Eben changes his mind about race and freedom after Curzon and him start talking and eventually arguing about slaves. Curzon asks Eben, "'If you were that tall fellow back there,'" talking about the slave Baumfree, "'Wouldn't you want to be free to live your own life?'. 'If I were that fellow, I'd be happy for the food and clothes and good care my master gave me.'" Curzon becomes outraged about this and tells Eben, "'You're not my friend,'" pg66. Curzon despises Eben for this because he doesn't know what being a slave feels like and has always been a free, white boy. Later, Eben apologizes to Curzon, saying, "'I do apologize Curzon Smith.' He put the snow on his quivering lip, winced, and removed it. 'i've been pondering the matter ever since we quarreled. You were right. If we're gonna fight a war, it should make everybody free, not just some,"' pg106. Curzon was torn between whether or not to trust and forgive Eben, fore he felt like he befriended him so he wouldn't get in trouble for "scavenging" with John Burns. But on the other hand, the apology seemed very heartfelt, as well as that Curzon wanted to be friends with him again. So after them both telling Burns off, became friends again.

Burns makes trouble for Curzon because he thinks he is an escaped slave and a thief, he causes trouble by giving Curzon a bad name among officers and other superiors, as well as beating Curzon up with his goons and stealing his boots. "'I will have your boots now, Private Smith,' Burns continued. 'It is fair compensation.' I'll report you tothe captain,' I threatened. 'Please do,' Burns answered. 'I've already told him what a troublemaker you are,"' pg137. This means Curzon has no defense against Burns' attacks because he made their commanding officer believe Curzon was a scoundrel. Earlier in the book Burns says, "' He doesn't belong here,' Burns said with heat. 'He has a ring in his ear like a sailor, but he doesn't talk like on. He is so cloaked in falsehood, I am certain he's a runaway slave, Sir!"' pg56. Burns loaths Curzon because he thinks he is a runaway slave. So at every chance he gets, he tries to hurt and set Curzon back from having people who trust and believe him

Bellingham uses his position as a white man to control Curzon by getting people to believe that Curzon is not free and is his slave. Bellingham also controls Curzon with his threats towards Isabel. "'Curzon,' he said softly, 'I own you.' Not any longer.' I let the officers' coats fall to the ground. 'You agreed I'd be free when my first enlistment expired. That was more than a year ago.' My circumstances have changed.' he replied," pg162. Bellingham forces Curzon to work for him by convincing people that he owns Curzon, and Curzon has no proof of his freedom, so the courts' verdict is that he is still owned by Bellingham. "'I've been pondering this predicament for days and have finally hit upon the perfect solution.' The horse hesitated as we stepped onto the bridge that spanned Valley Creek. Bellingham kicked her again. 'Are you listening carefully?' Yessir. 'Your punishments will be given to Isabel."' Everytime Curzon needs a punishment, Isabel will recieve it. This inclines Curzon to behave well for Bellingham.


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