A Mercy

Daughter Jane Character Analysis

Daughter Jane is Widow Ealing’s daughter. Florens meets Daughter Jane while she shelters in their cottage for the night. Jane has a problem with her eyes, causing the other people in her village to think she is a demon. Widow Ealing cuts Jane’s legs to prove that since she bleeds, she cannot be a demon, but the villagers are uncertain. When the villagers threaten to return later to persecute Florens, who they think is the devil, Jane takes Florens out into the woods, shows her the way to the Blacksmith’s village, and gives her boiled duck eggs to take with her on her trip.

Daughter Jane Quotes in A Mercy

The A Mercy quotes below are all either spoken by Daughter Jane or refer to Daughter Jane. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of A Mercy published in 2009.
Chapter 7 Quotes

Are you a demon I ask her. Her wayward eye is steady. She smiles. Yes, she says. Oh, yes.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), Daughter Jane
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 9 Quotes

Right away I take fright when I see my face is not there. Where my face should be is nothing…I put my mouth close enough to drink or kiss but I am not even a shadow there. Where is it hiding? Why is it? Soon Daughter Jane is kneeling next to me…Oh, Precious, don’t fret, she is saying, you will find it. Where I ask, where is my face…When I wake a minha mãe is standing by your cot and this time her baby boy is Malaik. He is holding her hand.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith, Daughter Jane, Malaik
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 11 Quotes

You say you see slaves freer than free men. One is a lion in the skin of an ass. The other is an ass in the skin of a lion. That it is the withering inside that enslaves and opens the door for what is wild. I know my withering is born in the Widow’s closet…I cannot stop…wanting to tear you open the way you tear me. Still, there is another thing. A lion who thinks his mane is all. A she-lion who does not. I learn this from Daughter Jane…She risks. Risks all to save the slave you throw out.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith, Daughter Jane
Page Number: 187-188
Explanation and Analysis:
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Daughter Jane Character Timeline in A Mercy

The timeline below shows where the character Daughter Jane appears in A Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...the bleeding cuts on her legs. The Widow explains that the girl is her daughter, Jane, and that the cuts on her legs are to “save her life.” (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...closes the shutters and blows out the lamp for bed before saying her prayers. Daughter Jane goes back to her bed. Florens lies near the fireplace in the dark and sleeps,... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Widow Ealing tells Jane that God will not abandon her, and that she will be safe because, unlike her,... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The Widow, Jane, and Florens have breakfast, praying beforehand. After the prayer, Florens moves to cross herself like... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The Widow invites the visitors inside. She shows the visitors Jane’s wounds, insisting that Jane cannot be a demon because demons do not bleed. The visitors... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...Satan. The Widow kneels to pray, and then she leaves to go find the sheriff. Jane cleans her leg wounds and waits with Florens. As the sun begins to go down,... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...girls run through the pasture and into the forest. They arrive at a stream, and Jane hands Florens the eggs, telling her to leave and showing her the right way to... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...her face in the lake. As Florens approaches, she realizes she has no reflection. Daughter Jane is kneeling next to Florens. She looks in the water as well and tells Florens... (full context)
Chapter 11
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...withered in the Widow Ealing’s closet when the villagers examined her. Still, Florens learned from Jane to continue risking punishment for good reasons despite danger. (full context)