What study guides exist for Margaret Walker's story Jubilee?



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Posted on (Answer #1)

Margaret Walker's novel, Jubilee, has become a very important work though it was all but ignored--or criticized--when first published in 1966. As a consequence of Jubilee's present and growing literary and sociological stature, eNotes offers a collection of Study Guides that are complemented by a discussion of the work in Masterplots II.

To start with, eNotes Study Guides offers a summary of the story with a summary break down of all three Parts:

  • Part I: Sis Hetta’s Child—The Ante-Bellum Years;
  • Part II: “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”—The Civil War Years;
  • Part III: "Forty Years in the Wilderness”—Reconstruction and Reaction.

The summary begins when Vyry is seven years old and follows her through two husbands and the Civil War and the rise of the masked, white hooded Ku Klux Klan that means to take reconstruction is its own hands--and does so to the woe of all right thinking people.

In addition to the Summary, in Jubilee Characters, you can read descriptions of the significant characters including Ed Grimes and Salina Dutton. In addition, major themes are discussed in Jubilee Themes and include such themes as deliverance, religion, duty, and music.

Masterplots II provides a second discussion of the story, the characters and the themes and their meanings. Masterplots II compares Jubilee to Gone with the Wind and includes comments made by Walker about various points, including her characterization of Salina Dutton as something other than the monster some readers perceive her to be. Masterplots II also expands the consideration of theme and meaning by including consideration of black heritage and slave women's role as those who preserved and transitted their culture and Christianity.

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