Wolf by the Ears Social Sensitivity

Ann Rinaldi
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The issue of slavery is a topic that still evokes strong emotions. Rinaldi has purposely stressed the evils of an institution that has darkened much of American history. To do so, she uses words like "nigra," a term common in Jefferson's time. But the language is essential in order to show the reader contemporary attitudes, that may appear offensive today.

In addition, some readers may be shocked to find such attitudes in one of America's genuine heroes, Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence. We like to believe that great men of the past have always been enlightened about social and moral issues. Yet they are products of their time. The Thomas Jefferson whom Harriet knows may not always act with courage and conviction, but that makes him more human, and brings him closer to the reader. And the last sight Harriet has of...

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This section contains 168 words
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Buy the Wolf by the Ears Study Guide
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