The Wildfires Of Jubilee Essay
Summary of the Fires of Jubilee
Oates presents a thorough study that is an accurate portrayal of a mysterious man who lived during a defining moment in American history. The author starts by giving a comprehensive biography of Turner and makes a real effort to show what can lead a man to commit the controversial actions he did. Of interest is that Turner believed that he was ordained by God to free slaves from bondage through a violent uprising. Thus Turner invoked select passages of the Bible to justify the killing of women, men and children (Oates, 14). Specifically, in 1831, the insurgents led by Nat went on the rampage from one farm to another in Virginia slaughtering tens of whites using axes and other weapons and in some cases decapitating children (Oates, 3). However, the insurgency was pacified soon by state militia and federal troops. In retaliation, the white vigilantes responded by maiming and killing blacks, the majority of who were innocent (Oates, 99).
The other side of Turner is captured when he chose to spare the lives of some whites such as the family of his childhood playmate, a slave-owning family (Oates, 76). Turner also spared the lives of a certain poor white family whom he noted was no different from the downtrodden. Perhaps so as to maintain focus on the bigger picture and enforce discipline, Nat abstained from the use of alcohol and was upset each time his followers indulged in drinking (Oates, 24). Another human…