The narrative, ‘A Summer of Tragedy ‘ was written in 1933 by Arna Bontemps. It was written at a clip of great economic depression and colour segregation in America. It is set in New Orleans a topographic point that is really fertile and near the river Mississippi. It tells the narrative of an old twosome who are on the brink of desperation. Jeff and Jennie are the two supporters. They are a hapless twosome who seem to hold lost all hope in life. After fring their five kids in a span of two old ages, being in much debt, illness and their old age, the twosome has nil else to populate for. The narrative is written in the epoch when bulk of the black people did non have their ain land. It was a clip when America was still fighting to allow travel of bondage. Many African Americans worked for the white people largely as portion husbandmans.
Jennie, who is Jeff ‘s married woman, is a sallow blind adult female. Despite the poorness and wretchedness they live in, the twosome is really much in love and they care profoundly for one another. This can be seen when Jennie helps Jeff to dress up irrespective of the fact that she is unsighted and her organic structure is hurting. The narrative begins as the twosome is dressing up to travel for a journey. It is non a normal journey nevertheless, as Jeff shingles and milk sicknesss at the idea of it. He is so diffident of the whole thought and it truly scares him. At one clip, he even feels dizzy merely believing about it. Normal journeys feel people with exhilaration and yearning. They wear their best vesture and are ready to travel ( Shuman 193 ) . Despite her sightlessness and evident sallow nature, Jennie is seen as holding a greater will to travel in front with their journey. She is the stronger of the two and she is the 1 who urges Jeff to travel frontward and call on the carpeting him about his fright. There are assorted issues brought approximately in the narrative.
The chief subject as seen in the narrative is hopelessness and despair, which has been brought about by the great poorness that the Pattons are populating in. The Pattons are traveling through many battles. Death is seen as the lone resoluteness out. Though at first Jeff is unsure of the thought, Jennie goes in front and urges him on. She reminds him of their programs and that they have nil else to populate for. Most of this despair has been brought about by poorness and the annihilating fact that all their kids have passed on. Their best garbs are full of holes yet they are merely worn on occasion. They hardly have plenty to eat and Jennie is described as holding a crooked visual aspect and holding bantam legs such that her stockings can no longer keep ( Chapman, 88 ) .
Love is another subject in the narrative. The Pattons display a echt love for each other and even in the thick of somberness ; they still see a ground to love. They refer to each other dearly and truly demo a deep committedness to each other even on their manner to decease. Possibly, this sort of love has kept them traveling for so long. There is so much altruism seen in Jennie. She does non mind the fact that her organic structure is hurting or that she can non see. She goes in front and distressingly fixes Jeff ‘s bow tie. She besides shows how covetous she is particularly when it comes to her love for Jeff. As they pass Delia ‘s house she is trusting that Delia will see her and cognize about what they do with Jeff. Despite the fact that they are on their manner to decease she still remembers how Delia used to smile at her hubby. After Jennie has finished doing Jeff ‘s bow tie, he is merely comfy when he hears her topographic point her cane against the wall in the following room and this assures him that she is all right. Jeff ‘s love for Jennie is besides seen, as he prefers deceasing than the idea of burthening her. He grounds that if he had another shot and does non decease, Jennie would hold to take attention of him and this would non be just seeing, as Jennie is unsighted and her wellness is really frail.
Devotion, committedness, difficult work, and trueness are other subjects portrayed in the narrative. Jeff has devoted 45 old ages of his life to working on the same farm. This is a long clip to work at one topographic point for one individual. He goes in front and admires his work as they pass the cotton Fieldss. Despite differing with old adult male Stevenson thought about overworking mules and work forces, he continues to work in the same topographic point. He loves the plantation where he works as if it were his ain. Old adult male Stevenson is besides devoted to maintaining his workers. He has been with Jeff for 45 old ages. Jeff still works with old adult male Stevenson despite owing him. Stevenson still keeps Jeff working on his farm despite the fact that he evidently does non bring forth the same end product he used to when he was younger.
The subject of freedom and release is besides brought out. The whole narrative shows how the Jeff and Jennie wanted to be free of the bondages that were keeping them. They had the hurting of fring their five kids and they hence did non hold anyone to take attention of them. As if this was non plenty, they had to cover with Jeff holding a shot and other organic structure jobs and Jennie ‘s sightlessness and weak wellness. In add-on to this, they had debts which they could non complete paying, were populating in poorness and they had neighbours who they could non swear as most of their poulets had been stolen or killed from their place. They had to acquire off from all this and self-destruction was the lone thing they could believe of. They wanted a life free from subjugation and wretchedness ( Nelson, 38 ) .
The Pattons choose to decease with self-respect. They take clip to be after what they are traveling to make and how they are traveling to make it. They besides wear their best garb. Jennie even wants her neighbour Delia to see her in her best apparels. They could hold chosen another manner to decease such as taking toxicant, but they do non. Alternatively, they choose a manner, which they plan and fix for. Sometimes both of them have 2nd ideas about it but they encourage each other up to the concluding minute. They besides care for and love their neighbours. Jennie has nostalgic feelings about the things and the people that they will go forth buttocks. She breaks down as she thinks about them ( A summer calamity ) .
Ill wellness is among the subjects in the narrative. This narrative is written in the thick of difficult economic times when people can non afford better things in life. Jeff is retrieving from a shot he antecedently had. He has besides lost all his dentitions and he merely has one operation pes. His fingers and seeing are non so good and he is unable to bind a bow tie. His articulatio genuss and castanetss besides ache a batch. His memory is hapless and he sometimes talks to himself. His married woman ‘s voice is shriveled and her visual aspect has been described as that of a dead foliage and a string bean. This means that she is really thin and unhealthy. She is besides unsighted. Jeff besides has a fright of the unknown and he confesses to himself that he is scared. He is scared of sounds that he does non acknowledge particularly at dark. He is even scared of traveling far from his place even during daylight.
There is unjust labour, which can be seen by the manner old adult male Stevenson treats his workers and even his farm animate beings ( mules ) . He believes that one mule is adequate to work a thirty-acre piece of land. He overworks them and many end up deceasing. Farmers are besides reported to hold died because of overwork. Segregation is besides highlighted. There were countries in the plantation where colored people were allowed to work entirely. Jeff has been used to foreground superstitious notion that existed at that clip. He finally believed that weak work forces were expletives and he had no forbearance with them. He besides had no understanding for the work forces who had died due to being overworked, as he believed that they were weak ( A summer ) . The subject of superstitious notion is besides seen when Jeff is reflecting about the poulets. He believes that they feed on toxicant and hence helps to maintain the enchantments and curses off. While the narrative does non give a solution to the job, it does its best to foreground the issues that were confronting the African American community at that clip. It served as a voice for many who were populating in the great depression and confronting great troubles during that clip.