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Lost Forests

In: English and Literature

Submitted By zoiabeans
Words 384
Pages 2
The slave is never named, he never has any dialogue. All the slave has in the story is action. Thus his social status is reflected even in the way the short story treats him. The slave's only value is his labor. Nothing else is important, not his name, not his thoughts, not the tale of his striving to return home.
Korra, the master is always portrayed as a benevolent man, one who it is easy to imagine believed in the white man's burden to bring civilization to the benighted savages of the world. Thus he is a good master, who frees his slave as agreed upon after 5 years. It is not his fault that the slave did not reckon he would need money to travel, and thus was inevitably forced to work 2 more years for Korra. Moreover Korra is a decent man, whipping his slaves for their benefit, Then one day Korra whipped him. It did him good, and he wept... Korra fed him well that he might live long, kept him clean that he might be in good health, and at reasonable intervals whipped him so that he should be meek and respectful.
Lost Forests even views the suffering of the slave as not only physically beneficial (as discussed above) but spiritually nourishing as well. For in the years of subjugation the slave learns how to count the seasons till he is free. This knowledge born of sorrow grants him, inner wealth, his spiritual treasure, which none could take from him or dispute with him.
That which the slave has lost in reflected in the very title of Jensen's short story, Lost Forests. For once the slaves they used to live among the trees as free men, now they are slaves who swung their axes and felled trees. The forests are not only physically lost (the slave can no longer locate them) but a free way of life disappears as well.
In the end the slave, who has been fruitful and multiplied, still yearns for his forests - his freedom. He teaches this yearning to his children, it is only this yearning which keeps him going, Every rest day he took his sons with him up on the knoll where they could watch the setting sun, and he taught them longing.…...

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