A Mercy

Scully Character Analysis

Scully is one of the indentured servants that belongs to the owner of a nearby cattle farm. Scully and his friend (and sometimes romantic partner) Willard often do work on the Vaark farm. Scully belonged to a group of clergymen until he was twelve, when one of the clergymen he was sleeping with blamed him for their sexual relationship. Scully was then sold up north. Scully plans on eventually obtaining his freedom and buying a horse. Scully and Willard help Jacob build his new, enormous house. They then dig Jacob’s grave when he dies. Scully and Willard also help Sorrow deliver her baby. After Jacob’s death, Scully and Willard help Rebekka keep up the farm.

Scully Quotes in A Mercy

The A Mercy quotes below are all either spoken by Scully or refer to Scully. 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 8 Quotes

Although all her life she had been saved by men— Captain, the sawyers’ sons, Sir and now Will and Scully— she was convinced that this time she had done something, something important, by herself.

Related Characters: Sorrow, Jacob Vaark, Willard, Scully
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:
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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:
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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.

Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
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Scully Character Timeline in A Mercy

The timeline below shows where the character Scully appears in A Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Florens asks if the Blacksmith remembers how Will and Scully would not take orders from him until Jacob forced them to, since Will and Scully’s... (full context)
Chapter 3
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Two male servants who occasionally work for the Vaarks, Will and Scully, dig Jacob’s grave, even though their master, a neighbor of the Vaarks, has warned them... (full context)
Chapter 4
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Willard and Scully, the indentured servants who sometimes work on the Vaark farm, stay away too. Lina is... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Scully, meanwhile, is trying to finish his contract, hoping to be free before he is old... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Lina knows that Scully and Willard sleep together “when sleep was not the point,” meaning that they have sex.... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...to help her. Sorrow walks to the riverbank where she hopes to find Will and Scully on their raft, thinking that they could help her. Sorrow begins labor alone before Will... (full context)
Chapter 10
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Chapter 10 is told in limited third-person narrative from Willard and Scully’s perspectives. The chapter begins with Willard and Scully seeing a shadow near the big, new... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...the narrator, the residents of the Vaark farm are the closest thing either Willard or Scully has to family. Unlike Willard and Scully’s frequently absent owner, Jacob never yells at them.... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Willard and Scully help Rebekka repair the farm that ran wild during her illness. Rebekka pays them for... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...work. Rebekka also frequently reads the Bible. Willard predicts that Rebekka will remarry soon. When Scully asks why, Willard tells him that she needs to do so to keep the farm,... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
...and capable of doing chores. Her devotion to her child, though, comes first. Willard and Scully, who helped her deliver the baby, act like godfathers and offer to take care of... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Willard and Scully had just returned that morning from a narrow escape with a bear while hunting partridge.... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...of time to Jacob in exchange for use of some of Jacob’s land. Prior to Scully’s arrival, Willard was often lonely. He thought of Virginia, where he was one of twenty-three... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
...compensated for his work and not being compensated himself made Willard furious, and he and Scully began refusing to do anything for him. Relations between the two men improved again when... (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 struck and willing to... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Despite Scully’s voyeuristic gaze upon Lina as she bathes, Scully admires her as a person, thinking that... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Although Scully joins Willard in mocking Sorrow, he also admires her. He thinks the look in her... (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... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Scully then moves on to Rebekka. The narrator states that Scully did not dislike her, but... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The narrator then delves into Scully’s early life, noting how as a child Scully was leased to the clergy by his... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Upon arriving at the farm, Scully intended to run away, but he was prevented from doing so by a snowstorm. Scully... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Scully had begun to lose hope that he would ever gain his freedom. But then Jacob... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
In order to keep Rebekka happy and keep his payments coming, Scully does not say anything about her increasingly nasty behavior towards her other servants. When Rebekka... (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
Land, Exploitation, and the American Pastoral Theme Icon
Scully thinks that they used to be the kind of family that “carved companionship out of... (full context)
Chapter 11
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. Meanwhile, no one... (full context)