Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two Alters

The Two Altars is two stories set in two different time periods, one in 1776 and one in 1850.  Both stories is about liberty, with set during the Revolutionary war and the other one after.  The first story is about what you would give for liberty.  It starts with Dick and Grace getting woodchips, but like most children that task has been turned into a game.  The wood chips have been made into a mound to hold a flagstaff.  Dick then ties a red handkerchief to the staff.  Dick wants to throw his cap for liberty and he wants Grace to do the same with her bonnet.  She throws it up, and then it blows away.  Grace begins to cry, but Dick says it is alright because it is for liberty.  He then set off after it while Grace goes home with the heavy basket in tow.  She came into the house with tears, while her Aunt Mehetabel’s questioned her about her bonnet and the whereabouts of Dick.  Grace tells her about throwing up her Bonnet for Liberty, the same kind of liberty that her father is fighting for.  Dick returns with the bonnet.  After the setting of the table and Tea, they receive a letter from the battlefield.  It explains what the soldiers have had to give up for the fighting and that they are holding on.  Soon after that soldiers come in and request for supplies. Everyone gives something and are proud to help out.  The second story is about a freed slave named George.  He has a wife, children and a job.  They have started to save up money and were getting mighty rich,  The were going to buy their son, Henry, a new Sunday Cap and daughter Mary a Muslin-de Laine dress.  All was good and fine, while they were enjoying dinner.  But they the door burst open and soldiers came in.  They were here for George, to take him back to Mr.B of Georgia, even though he had been free for ten years.  The family was in tears and George was sent back to be a slave.

The Comparison between these two stories is liberty.  One has liberty being fought for and liberty (and freedom) being taken away.  What would happen if the people in the first story knew about the events in the second story?  Would they have sympathy for George or would they just see him as a slave?  Dick thought that his father was a slave to a foreign power (that being England).  He was a slave in a sense to taxes, but he still had more freedom then George had as a slave.  The mother describes the United States as a beacon of hope, but is it the same in the second story.  George family was just like Dick’s family, only that he was a ex-slave.  I think the question really is for the story is this,  Is this the country that Dick’s Father was fighting for  a country where a man can be taken away from his family because of some technicality of law.  The people did not support George; they supported their government and the suit.  That to me is really sad.

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