The Known World

Topics: Slavery, Power exchange, BDSM Pages: 3 (1310 words) Published: December 11, 2012
A Different Kind of Rain
One scene in The Known World depicts an odd event. While many scenes show brutality, injustice, humility, and love, a small scene where one slave is good to his master carries a different message. This section of the novel explores a relationship of two characters that are arguably unimportant. I would not say that the novel needs these two characters to be a success. The slave or master alone does not play a major role in the plot, but together they display a profound message. It is for this reason that makes this short sub chapter intriguing. If these two characters have such a little impact on creating this story and an impact on others, than why are these particular persons here? Edward P. Jones writes about a relationship of a master and a slave that has grown strong, and though the relationship is bound with nothing but obedience and gratitude, the security of the relationship has made the master weary. Here Jones illustrates how the master, Clara, and the slave, Ralph, have created their own world blurring the line of separation between master and slave.

The scene of Clara and Ralph having the Skiffingtons over for dinner is very strange and interesting. The scene begins by the Skiffingtons arriving at Clara’s place for dinner. From the very start of this encounter Clara is suspicious of her faithful servant. Because Ralph greeted the Skiffingtons with “good morning” instead of “good afternoon,” Clara asks John, “What am I gonna do with him” (150). John brushes the question off telling her that Ralph is just a little slow and there is no need to be “skittish” as even the slave patrollers have said (150). But why is Clara skittish? Of all the people to know the servant Ralph, Clara knows him the best; even still, there has been a growing of uneasiness between her and Ralph. This anxiety could be because of an even stranger event of the past which is the focus of this paper. Many years before, Ralph had brushed her hair giving...
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