Is there any place where I can find a chapter by chapter summary of Jubilee by Margaret Walker?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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I would be happy to provide a more segmented summary for you; however, you must realize that Jubilee is not only divided into chapters but also into three "parts."  Further, sometimes it is appropriate to summarize the chapters and sometimes it is more appropriate to summarize the part as a whole or a set of chapters (especially if they are very short).

Part I

The first part has the title “Sis Hetta’s Child—The Ante-Bellum Years," and the first chapter is about the birth of Vyry in the early 1800s.  On the Dutton plantation in Georgia, Vyry's father is the plantation owner himself.  Vyry is so light-skinned that she is "almost" white. Her mom dies quite early on as a result of another pregnancy. Mammy Sukey then takes care of Vyry.  Vyry, as she gets older, looks like Salina's (Dutton's legitimate child's) twin. In the second chapter, Vyry is seven.  Due to her similarity in looks to Salina, Vyry is beaten by Mrs. Dutton (who is known on the plantation as "Big Missy Salina").  In the third chapter, Vyry's slave duties are described.  She takes inventories of food, activities, animals, diseases, games, etc.  Near the end of the chapter, the first mention of abolitionism is heard.  Chapters 4-7 are about the minister, Ezekiel, who works the Underground Railroad.  Also, Vyry, is courted by Randall Ware.  Due to rampant abolitionism, the slave-holding whites become more and more aware of slave activities.  When the cook of the plantation is sold away, it become clear to Vyry that slave owners lie about their affection for slaves.  Chapters 8-14 are mainly about the courtship of Randall and Vyry.  Meanwhile, the punishments of slaves abound. The branding of slaves for punishment is presented.  Other punishments are actually "celebrated," such as the lynching of slaves who wreak havoc on masters through poison. Even the overseer, Grimes, beats two old slaves to death during the harvest. Where the harvest is brutal, the one or two days of Christmas celebration are welcomed.  At this point, Randall asks to buy the pregant Vyry, but Dutton refuses to allow it.   Chapters 15-18 are now set in the middle of the 1800s.  Vyry's family is described: a son (James) and a daughter (Minna).  After being threatened to be sold, she tries to escape with her family, but is caught.  Vyry is severely whipped and scarred as a result. 

Part II

This part of the book is called “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory—The Civil War Years."  The plantation owner, Mr. John Dutton, finally dies.  The South mistakenly thinks they will win, and it isn't long before the Emancipation Proclamation. Mrs. Dutton dies as well and the Confederate soldiers come to trash the plantation in 1865. The slaves are now in charge and decide to flee, including Vyry.

Part III

The last section is called “Forty Years in the Wilderness—Reconstruction and Reaction.” During the reconstruction Vyry's family settle in Greenville, Alabama.  Randall Ware finally finds his wife and children! Vyry shows her scars, but admits that she has no great animosity towards those who showed her cruelty, making Vyry the ultimate Christ Figure.

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