The Invention of Wings

Hetty Handful Grimké Character Analysis

One of the novel’s two protagonists, Handful (called Hetty by her white masters) is a slave of the Grimké household who is given to Sarah as a maid. As Sarah and Handful become friends, Sarah teaches Handful to read. Handful is intelligent and takes advantage of her ability to read to broaden her world even as she remains enslaved. Handful takes after her mother Charlotte, never accepting the rhetoric of slavery that continually tries to steal her self-worth. When Sarah goes North, Handful becomes the head seamstress for the Grimkés and begins to act on her rebellious tendencies, using red thread as a reminder of her desire for freedom. Handful joins the group of slaves planning revolt under the leadership of Denmark Vesey. Handful never gives up on finding her freedom, and makes sure that she and her half-sister Sky reach freedom in the North after Charlotte’s death.

Hetty Handful Grimké Quotes in The Invention of Wings

The The Invention of Wings quotes below are all either spoken by Hetty Handful Grimké or refer to Hetty Handful Grimké. 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:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Invention of Wings published in 2015.
Part 1 Quotes

I was shrewd like mauma. Even at ten I knew this story about people flying was pure malarkey. We weren’t some special people who lost our magic. We were slave people, and we weren't going anywhere. It was later I saw what she meant. We could fly all right, but it wasn't any magic to it.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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Don't let her fall anymore. That's the prayer I said. Missus told us God listened to everybody, even a slave got a piece of God's ear. I carried a picture of God in my head, a white man, bearing a stick like missus or going round dodging slaves the way master Grimké did, acting like he'd sired a world where they don’t exist. I couldn’t see him lifting a finger to help.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma), Mary Grimké (Mother / Missus), John Grimké (Father)
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

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People say love gets fouled by a difference big as ours. I didn’t know for sure whether Miss Sarah’s feelings came from love or guilt. I didn’t know whether mine came from love or a need to be safe. She loved me and pitied me. And I loved her and used her. It never was a simple thing. That day, our hearts were Pure as they ever would get.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Sarah Grimké
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

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…I remembered the oath I’d made to help Hetty become free, a promise impossible to fulfill and one that continued to cause me no end of guilt, but it suddenly rang clear in me for the first time: Charlotte said I should help Hetty get free any way I could. Turning, I watched her carry the lantern to my dressing table, light swilling about her feet. When she set it down, I said, “Hetty, shall I teach you to read?”

Related Characters: Sarah Grimké (speaker), Hetty Handful Grimké, Charlotte Grimké (Mauma)
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2 Quotes

Goods and chattel… We were like the gold leaf mirror and the horse saddle. Not full-fledge people. I didn’t believe this, never had believed it a day of my life, but if you listen to white folks long enough, some sad, beat-down part of you starts to wonder. All that pride about what we were worth left me then. For the first time, I felt the hurt and shame of just being who I was.
… When mauma saw my raw eyes, she said, “Ain’t nobody can write down in a book what you worth."

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma) (speaker)
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

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She'd immersed herself in forbidden privileges, yes, but mostly in the belief she was worthy of those privileges. What she'd done was not a revolt, it was a baptism.
I saw then what I hadn’t seen before, that I was very good at despising slavery in the abstract, in the removed and anonymous masses, but in the concrete, intimate flesh of the girl beside me, I'd lost the ability to be repulsed by it. I'd grown comfortable with the particulars of evil.

Related Characters: Sarah Grimké (speaker), Hetty Handful Grimké
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

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There were ten good-size squares. I spread them out cross the frame. The colors she'd used outdid God and the rainbow. Reds, purples, oranges, pinks, yellows, blacks, and browns. They hit my ears more than my eyes. They sounded like she was laughing and crying in the same breath. It was the finest work ever to come from mauma’s hands.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma)
Related Symbols: Charlotte’s Quilt and Black Triangles
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3 Quotes

The axe didn’t fall on me. Didn't my Lord deliver Handful? The axe didn’t fall on Goodis either, and I felt surprise over the relief this caused me. But there was no God in any of it. Nothing but the four of them standing there, and Mariah, still on her knees. I couldn't bear to look at Tomfry with the hat squashed under his arm. Prince and Eli, studying the ground. Binah, holding her paper fan, staring at Phoebe. A daughter she'd never see again.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Goodis, Binah, Phoebe
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4 Quotes

"The Lord has spoken to me," he cried out. "He said, set my people free. When your name is written in the Book, you’re one of us and you’re one of God’s, and we'll take our freedom when God says, Let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid. You believe in God, believe also in me…” …My name wasn’t in the book, just the men’s, but I would’ve put it in there if I could. I would’ve written it in blood.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Denmark Vesey (speaker)
Page Number: 224-225
Explanation and Analysis:

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The edict from the judges said we couldn't cry, or say his name, or do anything to mark him, but I took a little piece of red thread from my neck pouch and tied it round one of the twigs on a low, dipping branch to mark the spot. Then I cried my tears and said his name.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Denmark Vesey
Related Symbols: Red Thread
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 5 Quotes

Mauma's back… She has scars and a full head of white hair and looks old as Methusal, but she's the same inside. I nurse her day and night. She brought my sister with her named Sky. I know that's some name. It comes from mauma and her longings. She always said one day we'd fly like blackbirds.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma), Sky
Page Number: 274
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Life is arranged against us, Sarah. And it’s brutally worse for Handful and her mother and sister. We're all yearning for a wedge of sky, aren't we? I suspect God plants these yearnings in us so we'll at least try and change the course of things. We must try, that’s all."

Related Characters: Lucretia Mott (speaker), Hetty Handful Grimké, Sarah Grimké, Charlotte Grimké (Mauma), Sky
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 6 Quotes

“Course, you’re tired. You worked hard your whole life. That’s all you did was work.”
“Don’t you remember me for that. Don’t you remember I’m a slave and work hard. When you think of me, you say, she never did belong to those people. She never belong to nobody but herself.”

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Charlotte Grimké (Mauma) (speaker)
Page Number: 303-304
Explanation and Analysis:

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I watched her fold her few belongings on top of the quilt and thought, This ain't the same Sarah who left here. She had a firm look in her eye and her voice didn’t dither and hesitate like it used to. She'd been boiled down to a good, strong broth.
Her hair was loose, dangling along the sides of her neck like silk vines, like the red threads I used to tie round the spirit tree, and I saw it then, the strange thing between us. Not love, is it? What is it? It was always there, a roundness in my chest, a pin cushion. It pricked and fastened.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Sarah Grimké
Related Symbols: Red Thread
Page Number: 355
Explanation and Analysis:

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Sarah put her hand on my arm and left it there while the city heaved away. It was the last square on the quilt… I thought of mauma then, how her bones would always be here. People say don’t look back, the past is past, but I would always look back… When we left the mouth of the harbor, the wind swelled and the veils round us flapped, and I heard the blackbird wings. We rode onto the shining water onto the far distance.

Related Characters: Hetty Handful Grimké (speaker), Sarah Grimké, Charlotte Grimké (Mauma)
Related Symbols: Charlotte’s Quilt and Black Triangles
Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hetty Handful Grimké Character Timeline in The Invention of Wings

The timeline below shows where the character Hetty Handful Grimké appears in The Invention of Wings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: November 1803 - February 1805
Voice and Silence Theme Icon
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Belonging and Religion Theme Icon
Hetty Handful Grimké. The novel begins with Handful’s “Mauma” (Charlotte), a slave, telling Handful (the narrator)... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful is often in trouble with Missus, the mother of the Grimké family (the white masters... (full context)
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Equality and Intersectionality Theme Icon
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...Charlotte spends her rare spare time sewing quilts with black triangles that stand for wings. Handful helps Charlotte by finding feathers and other things in the yard to stuff the quilts,... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
When Handful works in the yard, she has to be as quiet as possible in order to... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful. Aunt-Sister, the cook, takes Handful into the kitchen as the house prepares for Sarah’s eleventh... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Sarah stammers that she can’t accept Handful, making Missus so angry that she screams. Handful is so scared that she accidently pees... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful’s Mauma comforts Handful as best she can, telling Handful the story of how their ancestors... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
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Sarah. Sarah wants to give Hetty back to Mother, but Mother just tells Sarah to make peace with their way of... (full context)
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...gives her each day. On the legal paper, Sarah writes a certificate of freedom for Hetty. Sarah leaves the certificate on Father’s desk and goes to sleep dreaming of Hetty’s happiness... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...grant her this future. Yet Sarah’s spirits fall when she leaves her room and sees Hetty’s freedom certificate torn in two on the floor. (full context)
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Handful. Handful is uncertain on her first day as Sarah’s maid, and becomes convinced that Sarah... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
When Sarah finally manages to explain that there is no fire, Missus rages and strikes Handful with her cane. Handful falls to the ground. Missus raises her hand to slap Handful,... (full context)
Equality and Intersectionality Theme Icon
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...down to lunch after four days of taking meals in her room to protest owning Hetty. Mother asks cuttingly if Sarah found the ripped certificate of freedom. Sarah thinks of appealing... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful. Handful is still a terrible maid, but she enjoys the small freedoms she can sneak... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Sarah. Four months after Sarah is given Handful, Handful does not come in to Sarah’s room in the morning. Sarah goes into the... (full context)
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Equality and Intersectionality Theme Icon
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...owl that Charlotte has been caring for. Sarah tells Charlotte that she tried to free Hetty but was not allowed. Charlotte tells Sarah that she just has to make it up... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Sarah thinks obsessively about keeping her promise to free Hetty, and dreads seeing Charlotte again at her fitting for a new Easter dress. Charlotte asks... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful. The Grimké ladies go to White Point to enjoy the new spring weather, and the... (full context)
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
...butler, can investigate a recent theft. A bolt of green silk is gone, finery that Handful cannot even imagine. The slaves are all terrified of being sent to the Work House,... (full context)
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful sneaks to her mother’s room the night after the cloth is stolen. Charlotte is angry... (full context)
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Handful follows behind the search group, muttering curses no ten-year-old should know and gathering her courage... (full context)
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Belonging and Religion Theme Icon
Handful stares enchanted at the beautiful silk while Missus lectures Charlotte about her theft. Missus tells... (full context)
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...Sarah finds this shameful, and stares Reverend Hall in the face in an echo of Hetty’s defiance of Mother. (full context)
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Belonging and Religion Theme Icon
Handful. The Monday after Easter, Aunt-Sister tells Charlotte that her punishment will be to have one... (full context)
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At the end of the hour, Tomfry and Aunt-Sister help Charlotte to her bed. Handful gives her water and tries to feed her small bites of food, but Charlotte can’t... (full context)
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Sarah still hasn’t seen Hetty all day, so Sarah goes to the kitchen to find her. Normally the kitchen is... (full context)
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Handful. That night Charlotte begins to have shaking fits, and then finally sleeps. Handful sleeps too,... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Belonging and Religion Theme Icon
Handful notices Sarah hiding outside the door, listening to the story too. Charlotte goes on, telling... (full context)
The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
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...to the Charleston house, refusing to bring Shanney too, but Charlotte was already pregnant with Handful. Shanney died before Handful was a year old. At that point, Charlotte ends her story... (full context)
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The next day, Handful tells Sarah that they appreciated her basket. Sarah puts her book down and hugs Handful.... (full context)
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...however, and studies their father’s law books by herself. In the mornings, Sarah reads to Hetty or plays string games with her or watches the ships at harbor. The two girls... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
Sarah reads Don Quixote to Hetty as Hetty, bored, scratches at mosquito bites. Hetty asks Sarah to tell her about specific... (full context)
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Sarah prepares lessons for Hetty, locking her door and screening the keyhole to avoid any discovery. Hetty picks up the... (full context)
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Sarah and Hetty celebrate Hetty’s 100th word with a tea on the roof of the Grimké’s house. Hetty... (full context)
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Hetty admits that she has seen the button, and that she knows all about symbols like... (full context)
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Handful loves her mother’s new room because she can sneak to sleep with Charlotte without leaving... (full context)
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...slaves ready the house and stables for the storm. The rain hits that night, and Handful sings to herself to distract from the floodwater and the wind. The cellar room floods,... (full context)
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The yard dries out and Lucy, one of Mary’s maids, notices Handful’s writing in the yard. Lucy tells Mary and Handful knows that she has been caught.... (full context)
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...has gravely disappointed him by teaching her slave girl to write. Sarah is aghast that Handful was so careless, but even more upset that her father is so angry. Sarah’s stammer... (full context)
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The Evils of Slavery and the Necessity of Resistance Theme Icon
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Father reveals that he is the one who tore up Sarah’s certificate of freedom for Handful, destroying all of Sarah’s ideas that her father appreciates her anti-slavery views. As punishment for... (full context)
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...to the yard, ignoring Binah’s justification that it is only one whip lash. Sarah sees Handful tied to the post with Tomfry waiting behind her, whip in hand. Sarah screams, “No,”... (full context)
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Handful. Handful heals quickly enough from her lash wound, but notices that Sarah simply wastes away... (full context)
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...makes a new baby gown for Missus, who is pregnant with yet another child. When Handful comes down to the cellar to help her, Charlotte brings out a stolen inkwell, quill,... (full context)
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...hire herself out and sew for pay. Scared of the danger if Charlotte gets caught, Handful asks her mother to stop leaving the Grimké grounds. Charlotte just asks Handful to put... (full context)
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One day in January, Charlotte is found missing from her cellar sewing room. Missus asks Handful if she knows where Charlotte is, but Handful has no idea. As soon as she... (full context)
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...After Mother leaves, Sarah takes her silver button and drops it in the fire as Handful mournfully watches. (full context)
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Handful. Handful wraps red thread around a tree in the yard to make a spirit tree.... (full context)
Part 2: February 1811 – December 1812
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...Sarah makes up her face while her godchild (and little sister) Nina tries to follow Handful’s instructions on how to braid Sarah’s thin, red hair. At 18, Sarah has been a... (full context)
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Sarah lets Nina pick her dress for the night. Handful helps Sarah gets dressed and Sarah notes the distance that has grown between the two... (full context)
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Handful. Handful and Charlotte begin to sew a story quilt, sitting under the spirit tree. Handful... (full context)
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Charlotte sews figures into the quilt squares, promising to explain the whole story to Handful once the quilt is finished. Handful recognizes some of the scenes, like the night the... (full context)
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Handful tells her mother that Sarah’s thoughts are full of some boy she met at a... (full context)
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...special quilt Charlotte made of all Missus’s children’s old clothing. Charlotte has earned $190, but Handful doesn’t believe that the Grimkés will ever actually let two such wonderful seamstresses go free.... (full context)
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...a note from Burke asking if he may call the next night. Sarah happily tells Handful and Nina the good news, dreaming of marrying Burke. (full context)
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...the house, hearing her parents insult Burke’s background, and runs to her room. Sarah interrupts Handful slowly reading Leonidas and orders Handful to cut a lock of hair for Burke. Handful... (full context)
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...hopes that her hair will be enough to keep Burke interested, comparing this faith to Handful’s trust in the pouch of bark she keeps at her neck. Yet Sarah thinks little... (full context)
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Handful. Handful takes advantage of the Grimkés’ absence to sneak in Master Grimké’s library and find... (full context)
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Handful tells her mother that they need $1,050 for freedom, knowing it would take 10 years... (full context)
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...to spend the day horseback riding with him. Sarah goes to her room and finds Handful taking a bath in the wondrous copper tub. Handful is shocked to be discovered, but... (full context)
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Handful tells Sarah that she didn’t see any harm in bathing in the tub just like... (full context)
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Handful. Handful goes with Charlotte to buy fabric at the market. The market is full of... (full context)
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Denmark Vesey comes out of his house and Charlotte introduces Handful. For the next year, Charlotte goes to Denmark’s house whenever she has the chance. When... (full context)
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The first time Handful waited outside the workshop, she wandered down the street a way, stepping aside for a... (full context)
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...commands Sarah to loosen herself. Sarah does her best to comply, imagining the sight of Handful’s bathwater pouring into the yard. Nina then tells Sarah to repeat “Wicked Willy Wiggle” and... (full context)
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...now marriageable age. Sarah gets fitted for new dresses, the only contact she has with Handful. Handful sings to avoid talking and Sarah is secretly grateful. That January, Sarah overhears her... (full context)
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Handful. Charlotte fusses around the cellar room at night, watching the sky and sewing more of... (full context)
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As Charlotte works on the quilt, Handful thinks about Sarah and Burke, unable to imagine Sarah marrying a man who never respects... (full context)
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Handful. Handful is sorry that Sarah has been hurt so badly, but glad that Burke is... (full context)
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Handful. Earlier that day, Charlotte takes off to town looking happy and clean for her visit... (full context)
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Mid-afternoon, Handful sees Sarah and Nina come back in a carriage driven by Goodis, who gives Handful... (full context)
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...ad in the newspaper for a disappeared slave, but there is no response. Sarah watches Handful pacing circles around the yard without stop every day. Sarah looks at Handful’s grief and... (full context)
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A month after Charlotte disappears, Mother forces Handful to go back to work doing all the sewing. Sarah is forced back into society... (full context)
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...says she thought of it herself, thinking of all the things she has experienced with Handful. (full context)
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Handful. Handful mourns Charlotte’s disappearance but puts aside her grief and anger to get back to... (full context)
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The first square is the stars falling as Handful’s grandmother arrives in America. The second is Handful’s grandmother hoeing the field. Third is Charlotte... (full context)
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Two squares are Charlotte’s one-legged punishment and Handful’s whip lash for learning to read. The last square is Denmark Vesey standing proudly next... (full context)
Part 3: October 1818 – November 1820
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Handful. Six years after Charlotte disappeared, Handful still searches for her every time she goes to... (full context)
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Handful goes to her cellar room and lies on the story quilt, thinking about the way... (full context)
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In January, Handful hears about a new African church in Charleston meant just for black people. Denmark Vesey... (full context)
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Handful. At a meeting of the African Church, Denmark Vesey speaks to a congregation of 200... (full context)
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Handful spends the night in the jail cell, listening to everyone snore and fight while a... (full context)
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At the Work House, Handful and 11 other slaves are led past the Treadmill. Denmark is there, having refused to... (full context)
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Sarah. Sarah comes into the kitchen where Aunt-Sister is tending to Handful’s mangled foot. Sarah starts to cry, guilty that Mother was able to be so cruel... (full context)
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Handful stays in her room for ten days and Sarah stays away for fear that Handful... (full context)
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Handful. Handful must now walk with a cane, but the crutch she has is too tall... (full context)
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Sarah comes down to Handful’s cellar distraught over her imminent departure North with her Father. Sarah’s stutter has returned, and... (full context)
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When Sarah has been gone a week, Handful sneaks out for the first time. She walks to 20 Bull street to see what... (full context)
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At Denmark’s house, Handful asks Denmark’s wife, Susan, if Denmark is home. Denmark comes out and invites Handful in.... (full context)
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Handful. Missus calls Handful in to advise her on the elaborate mourning gown she would like... (full context)
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Handful tries to sneak out the next day, but Tomfry catches her and doesn’t believe that... (full context)
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Denmark tells his lieutenants to step outside and tells Handful the real story of what happened to Charlotte. Denmark tried to hide Charlotte in a... (full context)
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Handful. Missus gathers all the family and slaves to read Master Grimké’s will. The goods are... (full context)
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Handful prays that she won’t be sold, thinking that her mother will return to this house... (full context)
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Missus splits more duties among the remaining slaves, and Handful adds house cleaning to her work. Sarah helps Handful clean the drawing room chandelier and... (full context)
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...to get out of bed, and she stays in her room for the next weeks. Handful brings Sarah trays of food and, one day, a sack of half-burned letters. (full context)
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...a letter to Israel asking more about following the Quaker faith. She gives it to Handful to send. (full context)
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...a small inheritance that would give her enough to live on her own. Sarah remembers Handful telling her that she was enslaved in mind and worries over the silver button. Finally,... (full context)
Part 4: September 1821 – July 1822
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Handful. Handful sneaks to Denmark’s house more than ever now that Tomfry is no longer there... (full context)
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Handful gives Denmark a jar of sorghum she stole from the kitchen and goes to help... (full context)
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Handful asks Denmark what would happen if a white person found a list of names. Denmark... (full context)
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...gossip. In March, Nina finally crosses a line by showing the girls the scar on Handful’s foot from the Work House. The other girls scream, and one even faints. Missus hears... (full context)
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Handful gets busy making a quilt for Denmark to hide his lists, covering the front with... (full context)
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Handful. At Denmark’s house in April, Denmark tells his lieutenants that there are 6,000 names in... (full context)
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As Denmark explains the preparations of arms, Handful fiddles with a feather in her pocket and remembers when Charlotte told her that birds... (full context)
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...gets a letter from Nina detailing how terribly Mother has been acting as well as Handful’s new potentially dangerous sneaking out. Nina ends by saying that she feels alone and helpless... (full context)
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Handful. The night before Handful is set to steal the bullet mold, she has sex with... (full context)
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Handful walks into the Arsenal where the Guard keeps all their supplies and pretends to be... (full context)
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That night, Handful reflects on Denmark’s praise when she gave him the bullet molds. She can’t sleep and... (full context)
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Sarah looks for Handful the next morning and finds her joking with Goodis. Goodis jumps up at the sight... (full context)
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Handful. Handful waits two days after the failed rebellion for safety, then goes to Denmark’s house.... (full context)
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Four days later, Denmark is also arrested. Legends about him fly thick, but Handful realizes that half of what Denmark said about their forces was not true. Sarah finds... (full context)
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On July 2nd, Handful follows Denmark from the Work House as he is taken to his place of execution.... (full context)
Part 5: November 1826 – November 1829
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Handful. In November of 1826, Goodis catches a cold and Handful goes to the stable to... (full context)
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As Charlotte sleeps, Handful asks the slave girl, whose name is Sky, about their journey. Sky loves to talk,... (full context)
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Handful shows Charlotte the story quilt that she finished and Charlotte is pleased that Handful got... (full context)
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...deeper than friendship. One night, Lucretia gives Sarah a letter from “Nina” that is in Handful’s handwriting. The letter explains that Charlotte has returned to the Grimké house with a new... (full context)
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Sarah tries to write Handful a letter, but can’t find a respectful way to express her joy at Charlotte’s return... (full context)
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Handful. Charlotte returns to sewing, but Sky does not fit well into urban life. She is... (full context)
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...bountiful that spring that Missus keeps Sky on for good. Meanwhile, Charlotte does not tell Handful what happened to her while she was away, but begins to sew more squares of... (full context)
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Handful. Handful works on the sewing for Missus while Charlotte sews nothing but her story quilt.... (full context)
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...as she has no ownership papers and the regulations in Charleston are so strict. Still, Handful begs Nina to write Sky a pass, and she takes Sky by the house that... (full context)
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One night, Charlotte asks what happened to her stash of money. Handful thought that Charlotte took it with her, explaining that she looked everywhere but couldn’t find... (full context)
Part 6: July 1835 – June 1838
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Handful. Missus’ eldest daughter, who the slaves call Little Missus, now lives at the Grimké house... (full context)
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...Charlotte shuffles out to the spirit tree with the story quilt wrapped around her shoulders. Handful rushes out to her, and Charlotte tells Handful that she has come to collect her... (full context)
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Handful. Handful writes to Sarah that Charlotte has died. Handful and Sky hold a small funeral... (full context)
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...thinks constantly of her promise to Charlotte, who has now passed, that she would free Handful. (full context)
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Handful. Little Missus sends Handful to get some scotch whiskey, trusting Handful with many errands that... (full context)
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In town, Handful sees a mob burning large bundles of papers. Handful picks up a paper that has... (full context)
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Handful gets ten whip lashes for returning late without the scotch, the first time she has... (full context)
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That afternoon, the mayor comes to see Missus. Handful overhears him tell Missus that Sarah and Angelina will no longer be allowed in Charleston,... (full context)
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Handful. One Sunday in spring, Handful rolls down the quilt frame and checks on the stash... (full context)
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In the wake of Little Missus’ insult of the story quilt, Handful’s hatred of being a slave crystalizes. Handful tells Sky that they are leaving, soon. Handful... (full context)
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...Sarah Mapps interrupts with a letter for Sarah. Sarah is terrified at the news that Handful is planning to run with Sky, imagining all the things that may go wrong. As... (full context)
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Handful. Handful takes her sewing upstairs to watch the boats out in the harbor. She sees... (full context)
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One week later, Handful has an epiphany: she and Sky can use Missus’ old mourning dress to pose as... (full context)
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...residents cannot forgive Sarah for betraying the South. Sarah ignores them and goes to find Handful. (full context)
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Handful is happy to see Sarah, but hopes that Sarah has not come to talk Handful... (full context)
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...for Sarah to leave soon. Sarah promises to leave as long as she can purchase Hetty and Sky to take with her. Mother knows that Sarah means to free them, and... (full context)
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Mary Jr., Sarah’s older sister, joins the fight about Hetty and Sky, asking why Sarah feels the right to attack their way of life. Sarah... (full context)
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Sarah goes down to the cellar room that night and wakes Handful. Sky wakes too, and calls Sarah “the best of the Grimkés,” faint praise to Sarah’s... (full context)
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Handful. The night before they plan to leave, Handful and Sky gather together all the supplies... (full context)
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The next morning, Handful and Sky act as if nothing special is happening. At nine o’clock, Sarah goes to... (full context)
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Sarah bluffs past Missus’ butler and gets Handful and Sky ready in the carriage. Goodis notices Handful underneath the make-up and Handful worries... (full context)
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The boat’s engine starts and pulls away from the gangplank. Sarah holds Handful’s hand as they watch Charleston fade into the distance, and Handful pictures the scene as... (full context)