In Walker's Jubilee, what does it mean to be a young girl in Vyry’s world? How does her experience compare to other young girls at the time?

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For Vyry, being a young girl is about being abused and exploited. Except for her time with Mammy Sukey, she lives a difficult life.

Vyry grows up experiencing loss after loss. Every adult person she loves and who is willing to take care of her either dies or is sold away. When she falls in love as a young woman, the man—Randall, a black man who isn't a slave—leaves her when she is caught while she tries to escape with them.

When she isn't coping with loss, Vyry is abused and exploited by the slaveowners she lives with. The master of the house is actually her father, which only makes his wife treat her more viciously. For example, she has a full chamber pot thrown in her face and is threatened with death because she forgets to clean one at the age of seven. She doesn't get to be a child, really. Instead, she is forced into labor at a young age and taught that she has no fights. This is reinforced when she isn't freed as she was promised when her father dies.

Whether or not this experience was similar to that of other girls at the time depends on whether the girl was a slave or not. Girls who didn't grow up as slaves may have still been exploited and abused, but it wasn't systematic and based on perceived ownership like it was for Vyry and other slaves. It's likely that children who grew up as slaves often lost loved ones to slave auctions, illness, or murder, just like Vyry did.

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