Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule

by Harriette Gillem Robinet

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 199

1. Gideon is sixteen years old and Pascal is just twelve. Cite ways Robinet makes Pascal seem more mature than his brother.

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2. On their journey to find forty acres and a mule, what other facets of freedom do the children discover?

3. How does the City family, the name Pascal and friends give themselves, change their idea of freedom by the end of the novel?

4. Describe what schooling was like in the novel in terms of discipline, subjects studied, and the attitude of the students. Compare this to today's education.

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5. How does Miss Anderson, the school teacher, change her ideas of her students and what she should be teaching them by the end of the novel?

6. In the novel, three trees are very important: the whipping tree, the Ghost Tree, and the apple tree the Bibbs give Gideon and Gladness. Discuss what each tree symbolizes for the freed slaves.

7. Discuss the ways Robinet keeps the Bibbs' family, the school teacher, and the Freedman's Bureau's representative from becoming stereotypes of the vengeful whites.

8. Discuss the ways that Gideon and Pascal have exchanged viewpoints about the injustices that controlled their lives.

9. Explain how Pascal and Gideon have changed after farming their own land.

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