A Mercy Irony

A Mercy Irony

Given away by her own mother

Florens is a young girl when the novel starts and before being sent to New England, she worked with her mother on another farm. While at that farm, her previous owner became incapable of paying a debt and thus demanded a slave as a payment. Florens’s mother gave her own child away willingly and the idea transmitted was that she was even happy to have one less child to look after. This is ironic considering that while Florens’s mother gave her away, she did everything she could to make sure that her son will stay with her.

Money from slaves

In the second chapter, Jacob, a rich land owner, is presented. While Jacob travels through Virginia, he thinks about the ways in which slaves are mistreated and how the treatment is unjust and cruel. Ironically however, while Jacob criticizes these practices, he is also among the people who profited from the slaves working for him and thus this makes him appear in part hypocritical.


When Jacob reaches D’Ortega’s plantation, he discovered that the plantation was named "Jubilo’’ or rejoicing in Portuguese. The name is ironic because the plantation is nothing of a happy place of the slaves but rather a hell where they suffer constantly.

Happy man

When Lina describes the house and the process during which it was built, she also remembers seeing her masters happier than they ever were in their life. For Lina, this is ironic since she points out that they were not that happy when their children were born. This also shows just how important were for Jacob his material possessions and how everything paled in comparison with the house he wanted to build.

Be aware of the savages

Before embarking on the journey towards America, Rebekka was told to be aware of the Natives, people Rebekka’s mother described as being savaged, people who could not be trusted and who were extremely violent. Ironically, the people who were really violent were the people Rebekka grew up with. For example, she remembers the executions she witnessed as a child and how the people rejoiced when they saw a person killed. This proved for her that the people who were savages were not the Natives but her own kind.

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