Mrs. Barrows Us History I 25 August 2012 Nightjohn Reflection Questions Chapter I 1. The narrator of this story is Sarny and she’s twelve years old. 2. This story is told in first person. 3. Clel Waller is Sarny’s owner. 4. Sarny doesn’t care or really respect Waller because when he isn’t around she calls him dog droppings and many other names. 5. Sarny is not dumb and how I know this is because she’s just quiet and listens to learn new things and if she were to be dumb she wouldn’t learn anything. 6. Sarny’s mother is not around because she was sold when Sarny was four years old and old Delie raised Sarny. . The work that Sarny does on the plantation is working around the quarters, cleaning the yard, gathering eggs, and helping old Delie with the young ones. 8. What Sarny does at night is she gets on a pallet in the back of the long log house and thinks. Chapter II 1. Sarny’s job in the flower garden was to work on the roses and her job allows her to chew on tobacco leaves to kill bugs. 2. Clel Waller paid one thousand dollars when he bought Nightjohn and this tells me that Nightjohn is worth money. 3. a. Sarny’s mammy prayed in the kettle. b.
Sarny’s mammy prayed inside the kettle because they didn’t let pray so had to whisper in it. c. Sarny’s mammy prayed to be free. Chapter III 1. Nightjohn was brought in to the plantation with a rope to his neck. 2. The condition Nightjohn was in when brought to the plantation was bad. 3. The meals in the plantation were buttermilk down the trough, cornbread, and sometimes pieces of pork fat twice a day so the meals weren’t as good. 4. What Nightjohn did the first night on the plantation was teach Sarny the first letter of the alphabet and this tells me he is a genuine guy. 5.
What Nightjohn tells Sarny about why reading is not allowed for slaves is that if white folks find out she is going to be in more trouble than she needs. Chapter IV 1a. Alice was someone used for breeding on the Waller plantation. 1b. The first time that Alice tried to run away she was brought back and got whipped in front of all the slaves. 1c. The next time she tried to escape she got caught and killed by dogs. 2a. Jim was a slave in the Waller plantation. 2b. What happened to Jim when he tried to run away was get caught because he hid in a tree and the tree wasn’t high enough to escape the dogs and got killed by the dogs. a. Pawley was a slave in Clel’s plantation that fell in love with a girl in another plantation. 3b. What happened to Pawley was that he got caught coming back from another planation visiting a girl and Waller cut his heels and bled to death 4. Sarny thinks it’s brave and stupid at the same time to escape because it would be a miracle if slaves actually made it, but they always get caught. 5. Sarny does still continue to learn letters from Nightjohn and what that tells me about her character is that she sticks in what she believes in. 6a.
The reason why Mammy reacts the way she did when she catches Nightjohn teaching Sarny is because she could be in big trouble if the white folks find out and she has to protect Sarny from any harm. 6b. Mammy’s attitude changes from being overprotective to being calm and understanding after Nightjohn explains his reason for teaching her. 7a. Nightjohn got scars in his back before he escaped a plantation. 7b. Nightjohn returned after escaping because he came back to teach slave children how to read and write. 7c. He wants to teach slave children to read and write because he wants them to have something to hold on to and to be brave.
Chapter V 1. What Sarny is learning in her lessons with Nightjohn is how to read and write. 2a. Sarny was writing in the dirt. 2b. Sarny tells Waller that he deserves to go to hell. 2c. Waller kicks Sarny in the stomach. 2d. The conflict for Sarny is external because it is between her and Waller. 2e. Mammy was punished and her punishment was getting shackled to the wall. 2f. Nightjohn confessed to teaching Sarny the letters and this tell me he is a brave individual. 2g. Waller cuts two of Nightjohn’s toes with the help of his son Robe. 2h.
Sarny believes that Waller is cruel by what he did to Mammy and Nightjohn, and that he deserves nothing but the worse. Chapter VI 1. The actions that John takes after his toes are chopped off are admirable. He starts writing an A while all the slaves in the plantation are around him while saying he has learned his lesson. Then he writes a B saying “This is B. What I named my wife“. One of the slaves then calls over Clel, their owner, and he continues with the next letter in the alphabet. While writing the letter C he says “This is the letter C like a mouth open just like if you had something important to say”. . Yes, I believe John will be successful with his planned because he is a brave man and would do anything to reach his goal. 3. What John promises Sarny is that he will always be looking for her and she seems to believe him. I myself believe him because he seems like a man that’s about his words. Chapter VII 1. Nightjohn was successful with his plan because he made it away safely and afterwards came back for Sarny like he promised. 2. What has happened to Sarny since John left was that she never wrote words in the dirt learned the letters A-J. 3. Yes, John kept his promise to Sarny because he came back for her. . John takes Sarny to “School” and it is so secretive because the white people can’t find out about it. 5. Nightjohn was at the school teaching other kids while he was gone. 6. Nightjohn teaches reading by using catalogs. 7. Sarny feels very glad that she gets to write and learn again. Chapter Words 1. In this short chapter, Sarny tells us how every night he walks to school just to teach them how to read and write. 2. What I think would happen if another chapter was added to the book is that it will tell us how Sarny is now a wise woman that sacrifices herself to help children learn how to read and write.
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