Chapter 2 Summary

On Saturday morning, the summer sun is out, and everything looks bright and beautiful—but all is not well in Tom’s world. Tom carries a brush and a bucket of whitewash into the yard and glumly surveys the fence. It is long and high, and Aunt Polly has said that he has to whitewash the whole thing. His life feels “hollow, and existence but a burden.” He spends a minute or two swabbing whitewash on the fence, and then, when he realizes how much he still has to do, he sits down in disgust.

Jim, the slave boy, comes out the gate with a bucket, clearly going to the pump for water. Normally Tom hates carrying water , but now he thinks Jim’s job is much better than his own. He asks to trade, but Jim says that Polly...

(The entire section is 578 words.)