A Mercy

Florens is a slave of the Vaarks’ farm, a surrogate daughter to Lina, and the Blacksmith’s lover. Desperate for affection and eager to please, Florens is a hardworking, naïve teenage girl. Florens grew up on D’Ortega’s plantation in Maryland. On the plantation, the local Reverend taught Florens and her family how to read and write. When Jacob comes to the plantation, Florens’s mother begs for Jacob to take Florens away with him instead of herself. Florens thinks this is because Florens’s mother cared more about her brother than about her (though this turns out not to be the case). Florens then moves to the Vaark farm where she meets Rebekka and their other servants. Lina adopts Florens as a surrogate child, sewing her soft skin shoes and telling her stories. When the Blacksmith comes into town to make a fence for Jacob, Florens falls madly in love with him. Florens and the Blacksmith strike up a romantic relationship that ends when the Blacksmith finishes his work and leaves. When Rebekka falls ill, Florens goes on a journey to find the Blacksmith to heal her, all the while hoping the Blacksmith will let her live with him. Florens finds the Blacksmith, who leaves her with the orphan he is caring for, Malaik, while he goes to heal Rebekka. Florens becomes jealous of Malaik and accidentally breaks the boy’s arm. When the Blacksmith returns, he hits Florens for hurting Malaik. Florens, feeling abandoned, strikes the Blacksmith with a pair of tongs and runs away. Florens returns to the Vaark farm, where she spends every night carving her narrative in words into the wooden walls of one of the rooms of the house.

Florens Quotes in A Mercy

The A Mercy quotes below are all either spoken by Florens or refer to Florens. 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 1 Quotes

One question is who is responsible? Another is can you read? …Other signs need more time to understand. Often there are too many signs, or a bright omen clouds up too fast. I sort them and try to recall, yet I know I am missing much, like not reading the garden snake crawling up the door saddle to die.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat n

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Mercy quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

A woman comes to me and says stand up. I do and she takes my cloak from my shoulders. Then my wooden shoes. She walks away. Reverend Father turns a pale red color when he returns and learns what happens…Finally he takes rags, strips of sailcloth lying about and wraps my feet. Now I am knowing that unlike with Senhor, priests are unlove here. A sailor spits into the sea when Reverend Father asks him for help. Reverend Father is the only kind man I ever see.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Reverend Father
Related Symbols: Florens’s Shoes
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 3 Quotes

They are certain their years of debt are over but the master says no. He sends them away, north, to another place, a tannery, for more years. I don’t understand why they are sad. Everyone has to work. I ask are you leaving someone dear behind?...Daft, a man says. A woman across from me says, young.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker)
Page Number: 46-47
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 4 Quotes

The traveler laughs at the beauty saying, “This is perfect. This is mine.” And the word swells, booming like thunder into the valleys, over acres of primrose and mallow…Mine. Mine. Mine. The shells of the eagle’s eggs quiver and one even cracks…Spotting the traveler, [the eagle] swoops down to claw away his laugh…the traveler…raises his stick and strikes her…screaming she falls and falls.

…”Where is she now?”
“Still falling…”
“And the eggs…do they live?”
“We have.”

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), Lina (speaker)
Page Number: 72-73
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 5 Quotes

I don’t know the feeling of or what it means, free and not free. But I have a memory…I walk sometimes to search you… I hear something behind me and turn to see a stag… Standing there…I wonder what else the world may show me. It is as though I am loose to do what I choose, the stag, the wall of flowers. I am a little scare of this looseness. Is that how free feels? I don’t like it. I don’t want to be free of you because I am live only with you.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Sir steps out. Mistress stands up and rushes to him. Her naked skin is aslide with wintergreen. Lina and I looked at each other. What is she fearing, I ask. Nothing, says Lina. Why then does she run to Sir? Because she can, Lina answers. We never shape the world she says. The world shapes us.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), Lina (speaker), Rebekka Vaark, Jacob Vaark
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitatio

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt i

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit i

Chapter 7 Quotes

They frown at the candle burn on my palm, the one you kissed to cool. They look under my arms, between my legs. They circle me, lean down to inspect my feet. Naked under their examination I watch for what is in their eyes. No hate is there or scare or disgust but they are looking at me my body across distances without recognition. Swine look at me with more connection.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Du

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occae

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit ess

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 8 Quotes

The blacksmith and Florens were rocking and, unlike female farm animals in heat, she was not standing quietly under the weight and thrust of the male. What Sorrow saw yonder in the grass…was not the silent submission…that Sorrow knew…It was a dancing…It all ended when the blacksmith grabbed Florens’ hair, yanked her head back to put his mouth on hers…It amazed her to see that. In all of the goings she knew, no one had ever kissed her mouth. Ever.

Related Characters: Florens, The Blacksmith, Sorrow
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit ani

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehender

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Du

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I want you to go…because you are a slave…
What is your meaning? I am a slave because Sir trades for me.
No. You have become one.
How?
Your head is empty and your body is wild.
I am adoring you.
And a slave to that too.
You alone own me.
Own yourself, woman, and leave us be. You could have killed this child…You are nothing but wilderness. No constraint. No mind.
You shout the word—mind, mind, mind—over and over and then you laugh, saying as I live and breathe, a slave by choice.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), The Blacksmith (speaker), Jacob Vaark, Malaik
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco labor

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum do

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum d

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 10 Quotes

Thus her change from “have me always” to “don’t touch me ever” seemed to him as predictable as it was marked.

Related Characters: Florens, Scully
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis a

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

They once thought they were a kind of family because together they had carved companionship out of isolation. But the family they imagined they had become was false. Whatever each one loved, sought or escaped, their futures were separate and anyone’s guess.

Related Characters: Florens, Lina, Sorrow, Rebekka Vaark, Jacob Vaark, Willard, Scully
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore m

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I will keep one sadness. That all this time I cannot know what my mother is telling me. Nor can she know what I am wanting to tell her. Mãe, you can have pleasure now because the soles of my feet are hard as cypress.

Related Characters: Florens (speaker), Florens’s Mother
Related Symbols: Florens’s Shoes
Page Number: 189
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehend

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 12 Quotes

To be female in this place is to be an open wound that cannot heal. Even if scars form, the festering is ever below.

Related Characters: Florens’s Mother (speaker), Florens, D’Ortega
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

It was not a miracle. Bestowed by God. It was a mercy. Offered by a human. I stayed on my knees. In the dust where my heart will remain each night and every day until you understand what I know and long to tell you: to be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing.

Related Characters: Florens’s Mother (speaker), Florens, Jacob Vaark
Page Number: 195-196
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nul

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisLoreLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire A Mercy LitChart as a printable PDF.
A mercy.pdf.medium

Florens Character Timeline in A Mercy

The timeline below shows where the character Florens appears in A Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
A Mercy opens with an unknown first person narrator, who later turns out to be Florens, addressing an unknown and not-present second person audience (who later turns out to be the... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens brings up the questions “who is responsible?” and “can you read?” She seems to mean... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens states that she will start recounting her narrative from the part that she knows is... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens says that Lina tells her that this is why her feet are so delicate and... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Lina and Rebekka stuff the boots with cornhusks and hay so they fit Florens better and tell her to hide a letter in her stocking. Although Florens can read,... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens is “hungry” for the Blacksmith and afraid that she will get lost. She describes her... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens thinks of the bears in the forest. Lina warns Florens of enormous birds in the... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
More than the animals in the woods, Florens fears getting lost at night. But now that Florens has been ordered to seek the... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
According to Lina, who estimates from the state of Florens’s teeth, Florens was seven or eight when she arrived at the Vaarks’ farm. Based on... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens, though, has forgotten most of what she learned from the Reverend. Florens likes to talk... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens prefers sleeping with Lina in her broken sleigh to sleeping with her mother and brother... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens asks if the Blacksmith remembers how Will and Scully would not take orders from him... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens remembers her mother holding her baby brother and talking with Florens’s former master D’Ortega, who... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The Reverend took Florens to a ferry to deliver her to Jacob’s farm. During the boat ride, a woman... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
When Florens first arrived at the farm, the freezing temperatures in the winter made her believe she... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Lina told Florens that Sorrow is pregnant and the father is unknown. Lina believed the child is Jacob’s.... (full context)
Chapter 3
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Chapter 3 returns to Florens’s perspective. She begins by describing how long it has been since the Blacksmith has gone—two... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...feels he is being cheated out of the beautiful, big new house he is building. Florens goes on to say that the house is spectacular to look at, even though it... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens thinks again of her intimacy with the Blacksmith, describing what it’s like to touch him.... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens describes one time she took a candle at night to watch the Blacksmith sleep. She... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Next, Florens comes back to Lina and herself waiting in the village together for the Ney brothers’... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Finally the Ney brothers’ wagon stops to take Florens to her next destination. The driver helps Florens up into the wagon and his touch... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...but their master thinks otherwise. They are being sent away to work at a tannery. Florens does not understand why they are upset about having to continue their service, saying “everyone... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
When they reach the tavern, it is so dark that at first Florens doesn’t see it. The Ney brothers go in the tavern. Florens hears scuffling sounds and... (full context)
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Florens walks through the trees along the road to the north. In the dark, though, she... (full context)
Chapter 4
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Lina also wonders why Rebekka sent Florens to find the Blacksmith rather than swallowing her pride and asking the Anabaptists for help.... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
The Blacksmith did not look at Florens, who was holding a milking stool and looking mesmerized. Though Lina noticed Florens’s crush, she... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...Now, however, the plan seems to have backfired. Rebekka is sick, Sorrow is pregnant, and Florens is lovestruck and running after the Blacksmith. (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Lina implores Rebekka not to die, wondering what will become of herself, Florens, Sorrow, and Sorrow’s baby if they are left alone without a master. None of them... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...Rebekka will die, and knows that her own life depends on Rebekka’s, which depends on Florens finding the Blacksmith. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Lina ponders Florens, thinking of when she first saw her when she arrived at the farm. Florens was... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...him a piece. Lina thinks she was the only one who foresaw the Blacksmith making Florens fall in love with him. Lina tried to temper Florens’s expectations of his commitment, telling... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Lina returns to thinking about when Florens arrived at the farm, quiet and shy, on the heels of Patrician’s death. Though Lina... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Lina remembers one story that Florens especially liked. In the story, an eagle lays eggs in a nest high up away... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...the stalls. Lina goes into the cowshed and looks at the place where she and Florens used to sleep. Lina looks at Florens’s rabbit skin shoes, which Lina made for her... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...group of people camping beneath the trees. Lina recognizes them as the other passengers from Florens’s wagon. Lina begins to worry about Florens. She greets one of the passengers, saying she... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Lina walks back toward the house, happy that nothing bad has happened to Florens yet but worried that soon something will. She then goes back into Rebekka’s sickroom, where... (full context)
Chapter 5
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Chapter 5 goes back to Florens’s perspective. Florens describes her night in the tree, which is extremely uncomfortable. She descends to... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
To take her mind off of her discomfort, Florens remembers the wet ground on another night in the summer, when she was with the... (full context)
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens thinks of how Lina tells her that some spirits look after warriors, while others look... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens thinks of the time she, Rebekka, and Sorrow went to sell the cows and a... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
In spite of this incident, Florens feels that Rebekka has a good heart. She remembers when Lina asked Rebekka for Patrician’s... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens’s memories make her sad, so she thinks instead of the Blacksmith and her love for... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Florens remembers going to search for the Blacksmith after he finished making Jacob’s gate. She followed... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Florens’s mind wanders to Jacob’s yearly bath in May. She remembers pouring hot water into the... (full context)
Chapter 6
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...third-person narrative from Rebekka’s perspective. The chapter opens with Rebekka in her sickbed, wondering whether Florens will make it to the Blacksmith safely. Her feverish thoughts jump to Florens as a... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...and set Jacob down. Jacob died and Rebekka closed his eyes. Rebekka, Lina, Sorrow, and Florens sat down on the floor and cried. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...an “anchor.” She remembers how Lina was afraid of him, Sorrow grateful to him, and Florens in love with him. Rebekka sent Florens to go find the Blacksmith because he was... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...Patrician’s age would comfort her, Rebekka had found it insulting. She paid little attention to Florens when she arrived. Anyway, Lina adopted Florens so thoroughly that Rebekka did not have to... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Rebekka also sees this as the psychological reason for Florens’s fast attachment to the Blacksmith. Jacob did not worry about Florens’s attraction to him since... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...her whole family is a test from God. Rebekka’s thoughts race as she wonders whether Florens will make it back with the Blacksmith in time to save her. (full context)
Chapter 7
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Chapter 7 resumes Florens’s first person narrative. Florens describes how she finally fell asleep in the forest, waking up... (full context)
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens wakes up to sunlight. Florens heads northwest until she reaches a patch of thick brush.... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens aims north once again, following the hoof prints of the boys on horses. Florens thinks... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
As Florens was falling asleep, Lina told her about her bad experience with her lover, with whom... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Lina focused her attention back on Florens to tell her that she must be wary of men. She asked Florens if the... (full context)
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens walks through the forest, thirsty and tired. She arrives in a part of the woods... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
A woman with red hair answers the door. She is suspicious of Florens and asks who sent her there. Florens tells the woman she is alone and she... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
The woman tells Florens her name is Widow Ealing. She excuses herself for her hesitancy in helping Florens, telling... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The girl lying in the bed sits up and says something about death. Florens notices that the girl appears to be around her age. The Widow does not respond.... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...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, occasionally awakened by the Widow and... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...abandon her, and that she will be safe because, unlike her, demons do not bleed. Florens thinks that that is a good thing to know, and that her own mother should... (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 she learned... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...be a demon because demons do not bleed. The visitors then turn to look at Florens. The Widow explains that Florens is a guest. One of the women says she has... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens feels she is in danger. She decides to show them the letter that Rebekka gave... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The visitors discuss the letter. They then tell Florens to take off her clothes. They examine her without touching her. Finally they tell Florens... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...she leaves to go find the sheriff. Jane cleans her leg wounds and waits with Florens. As the sun begins to go down, Jane boils duck eggs and wraps them in... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...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 the village... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Now alone, Florens feels drained and worries about the fact that she left the letter with the visitors.... (full context)
Chapter 8
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Sorrow remembers that Florens arrived on the farm next, and Sorrow was happy to meet someone new. Twin, though,... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...the Blacksmith vinegar, which he put on Sorrow’s skin. Then, while Rebekka, Jacob, Lina, and Florens watched, he heated a knife and lanced one of the boils, then fed Sorrow a... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...Lina, though, worried that the sickness would spread to them all and tried to keep Florens away from Sorrow. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
However, Sorrow thinks, Florens became sick anyway—with love for the Blacksmith. One day Sorrow was lying in a meadow... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
When Rebekka gets sick and sends Florens to find the Blacksmith, the Blacksmith returns alone. He asks how long Rebekka has been... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...stroking her pregnant stomach. Through the kitchen window she overhears Lina asking the Blacksmith where Florens is and when she will return. The Blacksmith gives few answers, telling Lina that Florens... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...doorway, unable to sleep, and watches him ride away. Lina clearly is still upset about Florens, wondering whether the Blacksmith was telling the truth. Sorrow wonders if, despite his healing powers,... (full context)
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
...no one is hanging it. Rebekka is still ill, and Lina is so distracted by Florens’s absence that she does nothing to help. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...later at the farm, Lina hides her disgust with Sorrow and continues to worry about Florens. Rebekka says nothing about the baby. Sorrow says to Rebekka that it was good that... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Chapter 9 returns to Florens’s first-person narrative. Florens finally arrives on the Blacksmith’s property, smelling the fire and ash from... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
The Blacksmith looks toward the doorway, where Florens sees a little boy holding a cornhusk doll. The Blacksmith tells her the little boy... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
The thought worries Florens, and as she watches the boy hold onto the Blacksmith’s finger, she wonders if the... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
When the Blacksmith leaves, Florens is calm, but she notices that the Blacksmith does not hug or kiss her. The... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens pictures her mother standing at the door, holding her younger brother’s hand and trying to... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens falls asleep again and dreams that she is on the edge of a lake. She... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
The next day the Blacksmith is still gone and Malaik and Florens stay far away from each other. Florens watches the horses in the pasture until it... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens notices that Jacob’s boots are missing. Florens watches a snake crawl around the garden until... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens runs outside to avoid the sounds of Malaik’s cries. When he finally is quiet, she... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens hears the Blacksmith outside. He rushes inside and shouts for Malaik. When the Blacksmith sees... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
The Blacksmith slaps Florens and she curls up on the floor. She thinks that the Blacksmith has clearly chosen... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Florens begs him to let her explain, but the Blacksmith tells her she is a slave.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...marking the first time they have earned wages. To Will and Scully, the women (including Florens, who has returned home) on the farm now seem distracted. Willard thinks Lina seems like... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens’s change seems strangest of all to the men. She has become moody since returning from... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
...from their hiding places. Then they raced out of the forest to the road, where Florens march angrily past them. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Willard understands how the Blacksmith charmed Florens. He comments to Scully that he “never saw anything like it,” with Florens totally love... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...she bathes, Scully admires her as a person, thinking that her loyalty to Rebekka and Florens is not submission but an affirmation of self-worth. (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Scully moves on to Florens, determining that “if he had been interested in rape,” he would have preyed on Florens.... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...her other servants. When Rebekka beats Sorrow, takes down Lina’s hammock, and decides to sell Florens, Scully is quiet. However, he tries to do nice things for the women. Scully builds... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Chapter 11 returns to Florens’s perspective. She is walking alone through the night away from the Blacksmith’s house to the... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens thinks of how, after the Blacksmith rejected her, she tried to strike him with a... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
It has been three months since Florens ran away from the Blacksmith. Still, she keeps picturing their violent final encounter. At night... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
During the day, Florens does chores that she thinks are nonsensical, like cleaning the chamber pot they never use.... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens thinks that although Rebekka was cured of her disease, she is still not well. Rebekka... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens learns from Scully and Willard that Rebekka is going to sell her but keep Lina.... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens thinks of how Lina tried to warn her about the Blacksmith. She thinks again of... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens has covered the entire room with the writing she has scratched in the wood. Although... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Florens thinks that the Blacksmith is correct, and there is something wild in her, but that... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Chapter 12 takes up Florens’s mother’s first person narrative, addressing Florens. She describes how she knew that men would soon... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Florens’s mother tells Florens that the catechism has nothing in it against slavery and its evils.... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens’s mother remembers when Jacob came to eat at the D’Ortegas’ house, and how he did... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Florens’s mother admits that she does not know who Florens’s father was. Florens was conceived when... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens’s mother thinks about the constant struggles over land and power in Angola, where she came... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens’s mother remembers them talking about Barbados onboard, and wishing she were dead. When they finally... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
D’Ortega then bought Florens’s mother and shipped her to his tobacco farm, where Florens’s mother was gang raped. The... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
When D’Ortega began sexually abusing her, Florens’s mother tried to tell the Reverend, but he did not believe her and only told... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
When Jacob says he will take Florens, Florens’s mother thinks it is not a miracle from a god but a “mercy” from... (full context)