Revolution, Characterization

Another post for our American revolution

Dear Mr. Sostak and Mr. Schroeder,

The book that I read is called Forge, by Laurie Halse Anderson. The question that I will answer is “How the characters are shaped by the time period and /or setting.

 

Our main character is called Curzon and the time period is around 1777 during the American revolution. Curzon is an African American slave, until he escapes and joins the American army. The quote that I chose is this:

“I’d be happy for the food and clothes and good care my master gave me. I would know that god wanted me to be in bondage and I would not question his will… ‘You’re not my friend,’ I said.” (66) This shows that because Curzon is an African American, he easily stands out in the American army (and not in a good way). Even one of his best friends, Eben (who is white) thinks that if you were a slave you were always happy and that your owners would treat you properly and equally. I think that Eben has not experienced first hand what Curzon has been through as a slave and that everything that he said was untrue and in fact, the opposite. This is why Curzon said “You’re not my friend.”

 

The second quote that I would like to bring up is in page (55-56). “Fetch the wood for me, you dirty negar… ‘He doesn’t belong here,’ Burns said with heat. ‘He has a ring in his ear like a sailor, but he doesn’t talk like one. He is so cloaked in falsehood, I am certain he’s a runaway slave, sir!” This shows that even his own allies think differently of Curzon, regardless of the fact that he signed up for the army. The fact that slavery was not properly abolished during this time heavily impacts the way Curzon is being made in terms of characterization. Not many people believe that he is a free slave and that he clearly doesn’t belong in the army all because of his skin color. The way other people see him will also have small impacts to the characterization on Curzon (such as his responses/ actions) to these insults.