The Whipping Boy by Richard Gibney Analysis

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The Civil War embossed America from 1861 to 1865 and merely Americans participated in the war. The whole issue of bondage started the war ; some were against it. while others were in favour of it. The war was chiefly between the Southern States. who had slaves. and the Northern States. who had abolished bondage. “The Floging Boy” from 2011 by Richard Gibney is a short narrative about three slaves in the Civil War. and the twenty-four hours they are told that they are free human existences.

The narrative is about three slaves ; Martha. Mikey and Tommy life in the Southern States in about 1861 to 1865. where bondage wasn’t illegal yet. All three slaves had ne’er done anything besides being slaves for Mr. Gage. old Mrs. Gage and the boy Sterling at their farm. where most of the narrative takes topographic point. Mikey and Martha seems to be hubby and married woman. while Tommy is the brother of Mikey. Mikey and the slaves’ “owner” . Greatest Pot. used to be friends when they were younger. but that was ruined. Why they aren’t friends any longer is explained in the undermentioned “ ( … ) Sterling thought nil of faulting Mikey. and Sterling’s male parent whipped Mikey with a badness the eight-year-old ne’er forgot. ” ( p. 2 Ll. 49-51 ) Mikey feels betrayed because Sterling was supposed to be his friend. but when Sterling pilfered some sugar and his male parent found out. he merely blamed Mikey. Through these actions you can state that Mikey becomes a “whipping boy” . which is an look for a individual who takes the incrimination for something he or she didn’t do. In other words Mikey becomes a whipping boy. which could be mentioning to the rubric of the short narrative.

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As it said in the citation. Mikey will ne’er bury the treachery. and he wants his retaliation. which he is given the chance to acquire. when the slaves become free. Besides being the married woman of Mikey. Martha makes certain that old Mrs. Gage. who are acquiring more ill for every individual twenty-four hours. are kept alive by doing her nutrient etc. When the male child delivers the intelligence about the freedom of the slaves. Martha doesn’t believe him because “he was excessively immature and underqualified to confabulate freedom upon anyone” ( p. 1 L. 10 ) . She is a bit disbelieving contrary the brothers. who wanted to utilize their new freedom to kill Sterling. However. they don’t kill him. but they are “just” floging him. until Martha demands them to halt.

Possibly she does this because of what Sterling’s female parent said to Martha before on. The old Mrs. Gage told her “Only you can salvage my boy. ” ( p. 2 L. 58 ) . which kind of gives Martha the power to make up one’s mind the fate of Sterling. You can state that the whip becomes a symbol of power. The power belongs to the adult male who holds the whip. When Mikey and Sterling were childs. it was Mr. Gage who was powerful. and he was the 1 with the whip. As clip went by the whip and the power were “passed on” to Sterling. and when the slaves become free. the functions are exchanging and it becomes Mikey’s clip to take the power and to flog Sterling.

The rubric of the short narrative does besides bode the tanning of Mikey as a child. where he took the incrimination for stealing the sugar. which. in world. Greatest stole. Furthermore the mentioning of Mikey being whipped could be a prefiguration of Sterling being whipped. when he loses his slaves. Already in the 2nd line of the short narrative a slaying of two Canis familiariss ; Rex and Sheperd Gage there is mentioned. It is described in inside informations how the violent deaths were carried out. This happens really sudden. and creates a really barbarous atmosphere already from the beginning of the narrative.

The lone ground for the violent deaths. the reader is informed. is that “the slaves treated the Canis familiariss be er in decease than the Canis familiariss had treated the slaves in life” ( p. 1 Ll. 6-7 ) . The Canis familiariss must hence hold been handling the slaves really severely. but it is someway difficult to conceive of. how a Canis familiaris can handle a human worse than the barbarous slaying. Nevertheless. the killing plants as a prefiguration of the violent death of the slaves at the terminal of the short narrative. The boding gives a intimation to farther events in the text. and it besides creates suspense and somehow the reader knows. that something bad is traveling to go on.

Some of import subjects in this narrative are war. bondage and freedom. The three slaves are populating at the same clip as the civil war from 1861 to 1865. where the issue of bondage was the chief ground for the war. The slaves are set free. but they don’t acquire to bask it for a long clip. because they are viciously killed on their manner up North by a group of Confederate soldiers. In extension of this. a subject could besides be power. The individual who has the most power alterations throughout the narrative. as the whip is a symbol of. Mikey wants to take retaliation for being Sterling’s whipping boy. when they where younger.

When it’s declared that the slaves are free. he becomes able to take this retaliation. which he does. by floging Sterling repeatedly. This emphasize that retaliation is a subject in this narrative every bit good. “ ( … ) She pulled off. embarrassed at his lewd behaviour in forepart of a white boy“ ( p. 1 Ll. 30-31 ) This citation shows the difference between races at that clip in America. The black has to move “well-behaved” and nice around white people. because the white have a higher rank in the society and they have more power than slaves/white.

Mikey. Martha and Tommy are all slaves for Sterling at the same clip as the civil war in America from 1861 to 1865 is traveling on. The three slaves become free. and one of the first thing Mikey do. is taking retaliation by floging Sterling. The two Canis familiariss are killed at the beginning of the narrative. which foreshadows the violent death of the slaves at the terminal. Thereby this is a narrative about war. bondage. power. retaliation and freedom.

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The Whipping Boy by Richard Gibney Analysis. (2017, Sep 25). Retrieved from

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