A Mercy Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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The eagle allegory is symbolic and thematic. Analyze the passage that begins with "One day, ran the story, an eagle laid her eggs in a nest" and ends with "We have, says Lina."

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In Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, the narrator presents the allegory of the eagle and her eggs in the nest. The eagle has a broken wing, and when a traveler comes across the nest, the eagle pushes the eggs so that the traveler cannot harm them. In this allegory, the eggs are representative of the main characters, specifically with regard to their vulnerability.

Florens is a slave. Lina is a Native America who is one of only a few survivors of smallpox in her tribe. Rebekka was sold to her husband as her father put her on a transatlantic ship responding to an advertisement. Jacob Vaark is an orphan and grew up in a poorhouse. All of these characters are alone, bereft of their roots, like the eggs that are falling. They are in constant danger, especially the women, due to the culture they live in, and yet they find a way to persist and survive in the face of disparity.

The broken eagle wind represents the damage done to the natural world by the colonies in the New World. The Europeans value the...

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