Fires Of Jubilee Essay

1885 words - 8 pages

I’ve decided to review The Fires of Jubilee by Stephen B. Oates for my book analysis. I was very hesitant on doing my analysis over this piece because I have so many opinions, and different viewpoints on this book. With so many opinions however, this was the best book for me to write 4 pages over. It was extremely easy for me to read Fires of Jubilee and really get into the text, because growing up my Mom would always tell stories about slaves and old slaves tales passed down from earlier generations of mine. Being of split-heritage I always get 2 different viewpoints and stories told to me and my brother by our great-grandparents, so reading this explained way more of the story of Nat ...view middle of the document...

Nat became a spectacle among slaves, and whites alike because of his intelligence and “prophet-like” status. During the middle of the section we are given a reflection of the past and alluded to the future, the author explains accounts of Slave rebellions in the past and how growing slave discontent in the south led to fear among the slave owning community. The end of part one in detail shows the evolution of Nat from innocent child into a working slave, the author describes in great detail the growth of Nat spiritually and emotionally eventually becoming a “prophet” in the eyes of the other slaves. We are told going into Part Two of his harsh work days, difficult cross-plantation marriage, temporary escape, and his dreams of a free life.
Nat’s journey in Part Two “Go Sound the Jubilee” is a very religious one. God is communicating with Nat more than ever, and Nat would follow all orders given to him by the Holy Spirit. “Nat emerged from his solitude and began telling the neighborhood slaves incredible things: he claimed that the Holy Spirit had again spoken to him and had opened the heavens themselves” (Oates, 35). He believed God was hinting to him judgment day was approaching and Nat strove for true holiness and knowledge of faith and became a preacher in the slave church. Nat told of his vision to many white people and other slaves shocking them and gaining somewhat of a following among the neighboring slaves. Over the years Nat was able to move freely around plantations because of his Preacher title, traveling to Jerusalem tending to people, singling out certain blacks, and “recruiting” them for a mission. Around 1827 Nat began to minister out of the kindness and speak of extraordinary powers given to him by God to a white man by the name of Brantley who was guilty of an unmentioned evil, who found salvation in him. Nat later healed the impurities of Brantley, offering to baptize both Brantley and himself, which spread through the south judging the baptismal of a white man by a Negroe. Nat later stated: “We went down to the water together, in the sight of many who reviled us, and were baptized by the Spirit.” (Oates, 40). Foreshadowing of a slave rebellion was again alluded in the Part Two of the novel, speaking on the most dangerous insurrection uncovered by authorities and the struggle for whites to find a scapegoat to blame for the unruly revolt by their slaves. In 1831 Nat is finally given what he believes is God’s sign to him that judgment day is near. In February a solar eclipse stirred Southampton, and caused Nat to begin to gather his most trusted slaves by the names of Hark, Nelson, Henry, and Sam. Telling scenes of a possible insurrection being led by General Nat Turner during the blackening of the sun spread throughout neighboring plantations.
“Judgment Day” is the 3rd part of The Fires of Jubilee, and tells of Nat Turners rebellion against the whites. On Sunday, August 21st Nat met with lieutenants and discussed the plans...

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