Prentice Alvin Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What had White folk found a way to calculate?

In regards to slavery, White folk had found found ways to turn suffering into profit. How to "turn each bead of Black man's sweat into gold, and each moan of despair from a Black woman's throat into the sweet clear sound of a silver coin ringing on the money-changer's table".

2. For what reasons did Cavil find himself cursed?

Cavil found himself cursed by the fact that his wife was beset with terrible aches and pains that would give her no peace. Although he had married her with high hopes of a large family and boys to inherit his fine plantation, he knew that his wife would bear him no children, and for this reason, felt himself cursed.

3. What did Cavil do that he felt was godly and righteous?

Cavil felt that he had always been both a godly and righteous man. He cited that he had been good to his wife, and honest both to her and his business. He paid his tithes and offerings, and treated his slaves and horses well. For these reasons, he asked God to take this Black spell from him.

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