A Book on Decisions
Wolf by the Ears by Ann Rinaldi is a book debating the pros and cons of being a slave. The main characters consist of Harriet Hemings, her mama, and her brother Beverly. Other important characters are Master Thomas Jefferson, Mammy, and Mister Randolph. The main character, Harriet Hemings, is an almost white slave. Her long hair is always worn in a neat long braid down her back. While her clothes are never new, they keep her warm and give an elegant, homey appearance. Harriet goes through life doing her daily chores, working with weaving, making observations, and seeking advice from others, such as Mammy. The main problem comes when the decision concerning Harriet's freedom arises. One option is to pass as a white woman, cutting all ties with her family and true heritage. Passing would be safer, but it may be hard to do. Once Harriet makes her decision, arrangements have to be made for where she is going to live and what she is going to do for the rest of her life. Leaving the place she has lived for 21 years of her life would be hard, but when Beverly leaves she knows what she must do.
I liked this story because it showed how awful slavery was, and how great the freedom we take for granted really is. I also liked it because it showed how possible it is to get attached to something you love. My favorite part of the story was when Harriet finally made her decision. The author did a great job of describing Harriet's feelings of relief and her growing assurity that she made the right choice. I would recommend this book to anybody, especially those interested in slavery. Ann Rinaldi tells a great story that many would enjoy.