A Northern Light Historical Context

Jennifer Donnelly
This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Northern Light.
This section contains 432 words
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Racial Oppression

Weaver Smith is identified as the first freeborn son in a family of former slaves from Mississippi. His mother is keenly determined to help her son get an education so he can succeed in the white man's world, but as Weaver tells Mattie, "Freedom promises more than it delivers." His ambition to become a lawyer is challenged by a culture that still sees him as a nigger or a porter on a train, and by the rage that threatens to destroy him. At the turn of the twenty-first century, resolving the power struggle and healing the rage rooted in generations of victimization are prime issues in racial peacemaking initiatives. Affirmative action and other programs to help empower the marginalized in the United States are also controversial strategies for rectifying social imbalance. Donnelly's novel brings social issues concerning race down to an intimate scale through her handling...

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This section contains 432 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Northern Light Study Guide
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