The Fires Of Jubilee Essay Research Paper

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The Fires Of Jubilee Essay, Research Paper The Fires of Jubilee This book by Stephen B. Oates describes a sad and tragic story about a man named Nat Turner who was born into slavery and his fight to be free. Ironically, his willingness to do anything, even kill, to gain his freedom leads to his own demise. From the title of this book, The Fires of Jubilee, a reader can truly grasp the concept that there is trouble, chaos, and mayhem brewing in the month of August. This story was not only riveting, but also one that kept me on my heels for almost the entire time that I was reading it. Stephen B. Oates, a prize-winning author of thirteen books and more then seventy articles, is currently a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Some of his best novels

have been With Malice Toward None: The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Let the Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King. Jr., and Rip Ford s Texas. His writing is riveting as well as courageous. His willingness to get to such length to capture the mind of the reader and hold them in suspense has earned him several awards throughout his lustrous career. Some of the awards that Oates has received are the Christopher Award and the Barondess/Lincoln Award of the New York Civil War Round Table. His work has gained worldwide notoriety and is currently translated in four different languages: French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Fires of Jubilee took place in Southampton, Virginia and County Seat, Jerusalem during the 1800 s. The story takes shape during a time in which slavery was

the norm, especially in the South. It describes the struggles and turmoil of one such slave named Nat Turner in his quest to gain his freedom. It tells the tale of a man who s destiny was forever to be a slave and his quest to alter his destiny, which in the end leads to his tragic death. Born into slavery, Nat Turner was perhaps one exception to the rule; he was a master s worst nightmare come true. Nat Turner was not only an intelligent man, he knew how to read and write; but he was also determined, willing to go to tremendous measures to gain his freedom, even if it meant killing. He was liked by both the whites and fellow slaves, some of whom came to think of him as a prophet, a savior of slaves. Nat use to go to church every Sunday and the more he learned about the Christian

belief, the more fascinated he was with it. As his fascination grew, he began to read the Bible, about the Old Testament. With this newly acquired knowledge, he began preaching the Old Testament to the other slaves, about what freedom meant and how they should fight for it. He mainly preached to a group of five other slaves, with the addition of two more later on about the concept of freedom. Nat felt as if he was driven into some corner of slavery from which there was no return, only his imagination was he free. He had a burning rage to fight against the Serpent, and slay the enemy with their own weapon. During their March of Destruction, things began to get out of hand. Though he was willing to go to extreme measures to gain his freedom, the events that ended up taking place

ended up becoming a massacre. Due to Nat s rebellion, 60 whites and 200 blacks died. Though Nat did in fact partake in the killings, the author makes it out to seem as if in the end, Nat did not really want this to become a bloodbath. Although he thought that it was getting out of hand, he stood idly by, watching the massacre take place. In the end, a total of 50 stood trial, and 21, including Nat Turner were hung for the rebellion. After the rebellion and the death of Nat Turner, Garrison and Knapp, whom believed that Negroes had as much to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as whites enjoyed, published the Liberator in Boston, demanding that slaves be emancipated and freed. Though it cannot be said with certainty that this was the one major event that