Which scene do you think is most important in expressing what A Mercy is about?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most important scenes to me in this book touches upon one of the central themes of the text, which is that of family and how family does not necessarily consist of blood relations. This scene occurs in the eleventh chapter, as the ghost of Jacob Vaark appears to Willard and Scully. By focusing on these two characters and the homosexual relationship they have formed, Morrison places the concept of family under the microscope. The two feel that their "family" is made up of the household of the Vaarks and the servants who work there. They cast themselves in the role of "helpful sons," but there are forces that seem to threaten this family identity and unity, especially the danger of Rebekka remarrying.

In spite of these threats and the desire that Willard and Scully have to try and gain enough money to buy their freedom, the text in this section clearly presents the importance of having a home and a family, even if that family is not our literal family that is linked to us by blood. Family, Morrison suggests, is something that is created through hard work, love, and above all, mercy.

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