Hendrik Short Story Summary

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When examing the story about Hendrik Albertus and Mey, the relationship between master and slaves is evidently unique. In the beginning of the story, one can find an expected relationship where the slave does something that the master does not like causing the master to therefore punish the slave. This was seen in the story when Mey and some other slaves “dawdled and resturned to their jobs a half-hour late.” Hendrik is upset by the disrespect from his slaves and has his son punish them to the extreme. Because the slaves disobeyed his master, this form of punihsment was not unconventional. Five days later, Mey was whipped again. This time, he was whipped by Hendrik himself for not working fast enough. The reason he was not working fast enough was due to the fact that the whipping from the first punishment had not healed. Mey was clearly offended and wronged. He acted on these feelings by going to the Protectors of Slaves in order to seek help for the way his master violated him.…show more content…
Mason has speaks about how “this story is so interesting because it is so incomplete.” This story is rare because of Mey’s role and the outcome. Slaves often do not know about the Protector and his role, but Mey did because he has heard Hendrik speak about him when petitioning against him. Mason “suggest[s] that Mey did what he did because he had a well-developed sense of just and unjust punishment.” Slaves in the Cape are given the opportunity to go to the Protector if they feel wronged just as Mey did. Within slavery in the Cape, there is a “moral economy of the lash” where basic rules are understood about fair or unfair punishment. “Hendrik Albertus had violated the moral code which the slaves applied to the administration of the lash, and Mey was determined that he should answer for it.” Slaves do not have many rights, but given this ability Mey acted on the way he was treated and went to the

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