The Longest Memory

Topics: Slavery, Black people, Slavery in the United States Pages: 12 (4489 words) Published: December 14, 2011
The Longest Memory
- 2 dead wives, second wife „Cook“, loves her very much
- 22 daughters, only one son
One day after his mother’s death, Chapel, Whitechapel’s son, fled from the plantation. The master of the plantation, Mr. Whitechapel, told the deputy that they should wait whit Chapel’s punishment if he returned, till him himself returned from his voyage. However the deputy left the plantation before Chapel was caught because he was selfish and wanted to see his wife. When Chapel was caught the overseer of the plantation, Mr. Sanders Junior, did not listen to Whitechapel and the other slaves and punished Chapel by giving him 200 lashes. Chapel died because of the whipping. Whitechapel blames himself for not having further prevented Chapel from being whipped. He knows the other slaves think that as well. Whitechapel is very sad and wants to die. He sees no sense for life after the death of his wife and son. In the book the reader learns that Whitechapel is a very wise slave who is sort of respected by all people that live on the plantation, even by the master and the overseer. At the end of the book the overseer says to himself: Whitechapel, if you were white I would have wanted you as my father.

Mr. Whitechapel:
- plantation owner
- very disappointed about the deputy and the overseer for not having carried out his orders - has a humanitarian approach to slaves. He gives them enough food, avoids harsh punishment, lets them have enough sleep etc. Plantation owners:

That’s why they laugh at him and criticise him. In their eyes slaves are no humans, they just exist for working on their farms. They should not be treated nicely. The plantation owners are afraid of rebellious slaves and demand harsh punishment for every slave that does not behave well.

Their ideas are supported by the Editor of the Newspaper “The Virginian”.

Sanders Senior:
- worked as an overseer
- worried about his son (sanders junior)
- depressive because of the death of his woman
-Has got a very negative and brutal views towards the slaves passage One day a new slave woman comes to the plantation. He is attracted by her and arranges that she becomes his cook, that’s also why he calls her Cook. Cook likes Whitechapel and Whitechapel likes Cook. He wants to marry her. One day Sanders rapes Cook. She becomes pregnant. Nevertheless, Whitechapel marries desperate Cook. After the wedding Sanders rapes Cook again. He is fined for the rape and forced to marry a woman he detests in order to protect the plantation from gossip and unrest.

She is Whitechapel’s second wife. Because of this she maintains her dignity. Happily her child is very black and though not a lot of people know that Chapel is the son of Sanders, and not of Whitechapel. After about 20 years Cook dies because she is sick.

As we know Chapel was whipped to death by Mr. Sanders Junior. But one has to consider that Mr. Sanders did not know till then that Chapel was his half-brother. He realised it when Mr. Whitechapel told him after he had killed Chapel. Chapel is quite a special slave because on the one side he was the son of a white man and of a black woman. On the other side Chapel knows how to write and to read, which was basically forbidden to slaves. He was taught reading and writing by Lydia.

Lydia is Mr. Whitechapel’s daughter and therefore a white girl. Lydia is absolutely against the use of slaves, she sees them as humans. When Lydia and Chapel were still children, Lydia taught Chapel reading and writing in secrecy. One day Chapel’s mother Cook noticed that Chapel could read, because he read some stories to Lydia like always. Cook is very proud of her son but she does tell neither him nor her husband that Chapel is able to read because then Whitechapel would have told Chapel not to read anymore and to forbid it to him. But one day Mr. Whitechapel surprised them, and forbids them to meet each other again and forbids...
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