Essay from Robbins due to their color

Essay title: The Known World

The bond between parent and child is undoubtedly a very strong one. Henry’s father works very hard and persistently to pay for his son’s freedom from slavery. Henry’s owner, a white man named Robbins, doesn’t seem to consider the bond between parent and child in this situation and merely sees Henry as his property to be bought and sold. It is not until Henry becomes a free man and ultimately decides to gain power and status by owning slaves of his own that Robbins sees him as a fellow man. All the while Henry remains true to himself and his color certainly does not change, it is only his status in society that gives him a sense of equality among men. The little importance of skin color is also blatantly obvious upon viewing the relationship between father and child as portrayed in the novel. Robbins, even though he does not announce it, has two mixed children of his own that were the result of an affair with a former slave as well as a white daughter that he has with his wife. The mixed children receive no less love from Robbins due to their color and perhaps are even treated better in response to Robbins undeniable love for their mother.

No matter how loving and tender he shows to be with his former-slave turned lover and their children, Robbins is still shown to be a cruel and uncaring master to his slaves. Color, therefore, is not the deciding factor when it comes to how you are treated; all is determined by your status. It is displayed that status in society ultimately rules over race in the novel but the struggle lies in applying this theory to the way that things really were.

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