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The Longest Memory

            Essay Question: Characters are revealed by their words and actions and what others say about them. What do we learn of Whitechapel from himself and others? .
             Whitechapel is an old slave who has been working on the Whitechapel Plantation for over one hundred years. He is a slave who has been married twice and raised 12 daughters and 1 son. We learn that Whitechapel has seen his first to wives pass on before him, and we learn he was really hit hard when he witnessed his only son whipped to death. Whitechapel shares with us his habit to suppress memories, suppressing them because of the unbearable pain. Through Whitechapel and the other characters we learn about who Whitechapel is and why he is.
             The first chapter of "The Longest Memory" is an inner monologue of Whitechapel. Through Whitehapel's thoughts, sharing his feelings and recounts of his painful memories, we learn about Whitechapel. He believes he is has no name and a nobody. "That morning I faced the world for the first time as a nobody, nameless.".
             Whitechapel shares an intimate and painful memory with us. "The last time I cried was over the pointless death of a boy I loved as my own." "That boy of mine was not whipped to death for running away, for getting nowhere, not even to the next town I look with these blood-shot eyes that see without seeing, witness without registering a memory or sensation. The boy's two hundred lashes lasted no more than twenty minutes but he was gone half-way into it all That's when I learned how to live without being hurt by life- Whitechapel shares with us his memory of his son's death. He tells us that he learnt not to be hurt by life, that he suppresses every memory he's ever had to prevent being hurt again. This is a sad way to live. .
             Whitechapel calls the boy his, and he loved the boy as his own. Later we learn that the boy was not his son at all.
             Many plantation owners have offered Mr. Whitechapel money to buy Whitechapel.

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