Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Text used: Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
Laurel-Leaf Library  1980
ISBN: 0-440-96132-7

For Wikipedia information on Paula Fox go here.

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Chapter Eight: The Old Man




sea wrack









The Underground Railroad: Slaves escaping
  1. "Where you going? Where you come from?" He looked at me quickly, then away. I observed how carefully he began to study the black boy. Then, when I hadn't answered, not being able to find words, he said, "Well, master?"
    "No!" I croaked. "I'm not his master."
    Explain this conversation and tell why the old man is studying the black boy so carefully.
  2. Where do you think, the two men will take Ras?
  3. Why does the old man want Jessie to tell him all about "that ship"?
    Why does he say" "That's the way it was,..."
  4. When he leaves the old man, Jessie is "aware of a powerful emotion, gratitude mixed with disappointment." Why is the emotion so powerful? Why is Jessie disappointed?
    A few sentences further on, he thinks: "I couldn't expect more than that." Why not?

Links in a Chain

One way of tying a story together is through the use of motifs. Motifs are incidents, Images, or ideas which appear again and again in a novel. Like links in a chain, they serve to unite a story.


Some motifs in The Slave Dancer are listed below. In your notebook, list four examples of these motifs taken from the book. Then answer the questions that follow

  1. Death
  2. Mental and physical decay
  3. Cruelty
  4. Punishment
  5. Humiliation
  6. Weather conditions
  7. Kindness and compassion
  8. Greed
  9. Superstition


  1. Mention one way in which motif 3 is linked to motif 5 in the book.
  2. Mention one way in which motif 2 is linked to motif 8 in the book.
  3. Mention one way in which motif 2 is linked to motif 9 in the book.
  4. Mention one way in which motif 4 is linked to motif 7 in the book.
  5. Mention one way in which motif 1 is linked to motif 2 in the book.

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9