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A Short Essay on Amari in Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

Updated on July 11, 2013

Copper Sun Front Cover

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A Short Essay on Copper Sun

In the face of hardships, one must never lose courage or led to be discouraged. Amari, a fifteen year old African girl, ripped from her homeland, and forced to work on a rice plantation, finds her inner strength by not giving up on hope. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper follows how Amari endures life on a rice plantation, and all the pain she goes undergoes.

Initially, Amari needs valor to survive her dreadful and sickening trip through the middle passage to the Americas. Amari endures so many hardships during the three month voyage to America, to become slave. No sanitary conditions exist on the vile, foul ship, and no bathroom. A repugnant, loathsome smell lurks for three whole months. Being forced on the ship with so many other slaves who do not know their faith, Amari feels desolate and melancholy. Disease proliferates rapidly and whoever dies goes overboard. The food on the ship being scarce and horribly disgusting does not encourage Amari to think of the New World. At times Amari is allowed on deck, where she and all the other famished slaves, are forced to dance in order to receive exercise. Women slaves get raped, beaten, and tantalized. A red-headed sailor Amari meets on the ship helps her learn some of the strange English language. Afi, a slave on the same ship as Amari helps her get through tough times by talking to her, listening to her, and connecting with her; she gives Amari strength when she gets weak, and tells her that she can not lose hope. Hence Amari finds her inner strength to get her through the brutal, grim voyage, and everything she loses.

Afterwards Amari needs gallantry when she tries to save a helpless baby. She learns some more English on the plantation and immediately starts working with Tidbit and Teenie, other slaves on the plantation. She gets close to the other Africans, and makes a new friend, Polly, an indentured servant. Polly and Amari fabricate plan to make sure that Mr. Derby, the cruel and spiteful owner of the plantation does not know that his wife, Isabelle, the owner's wife, had an affair with one of his slaves, and that she is pregnant with a black child. Amari and Polly deliver the newborn and they figure out that they will hide her. They tell the master that the baby was deformed and died. The master though finds out about the infant and he kills her right in front of his wife. Amari stands shocked and desolated. Just when she thinks it all passed Mr. Derby kills the baby’s father, one of the black slaves, too. It takes Amari great valiance and potency just to stand in front of it and behold it all. Thus Amari learns that she must remains hopeful, even after what she saw that dreadful night.

Sharon M. Draper

Sharon Draper
Sharon Draper

Lastly Amari shows bravery when she escapes with Tidbit and Polly from the Derby’s plantation on that treacherous journey south. (I think this is why Sharon Draper's book is called Copper Sun, like a setting copper sun as they run away.) Amari is desperate for freedom and wishes nothing more than to run away. Polly, Amari and Tidbit, a small black boy escaping with them face starvation and peril. At one point Clay, Amari’s owner, follows them and almost captures Amari again, and tries to take her back. Many times during the detrimental and arduous journey Amari wonders if Cato, a slave on the plantation, gave them veracious advice by telling them to go south in order to escape, but she hopes and believes that it will all be fine. They have to be prudent and circumspect so that nobody sees or hears them when they pass by a nearby village. Very often the three of them run out of food and have to go nights without anything to eat. Polly, Tidbit, and Amari have to eat earthworms and grubs to survive. It becomes a ghastly and revolting meal, but they have to eat to survive. All throughout the oppressive trip Amari thinks of hope and to be free. She reminds herself that she must think of what comes ahead and how to get everybody there safely.

Sharon Draper follows Amari’s daring struggle for freedom in Copper Sun. Amari finally surmounts her journey to fortMose, in Florida and thinks of a new beginning for her and her soon to come baby. When facing a tough situation one can never lose boldness.

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    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 6 years ago

      If you ever get a chance to read it, I do recommend it, it's an easy read and it's thought provoking. Good luck with your discussions breannaaaaa(:

    • profile image

      breanaaaaa(: 6 years ago

      i didn't read the book. i just needed info about amari for a class assignment. :b

    • profile image

      sierra 6 years ago

      great job.. this gets to detail real fast and explains so much.

    • profile image

      jason johnson 6 years ago

      i Have to write an essay about amari the door of no return

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 6 years ago

      I couldn't agree was a very enlightening read. And the personal perspective gave it emotion and life.

    • profile image

      Briana 6 years ago

      I for one love this book and everything in it. its filled with hardship love and pain all mixed together to form this beuatiful story AND i think clay really did have feelings for amari. and also this is one of the best books next to hunger games but i will never forget the cruelty that Mr.Derby had done by killing an innocent child

    • profile image

      Sydney 6 years ago

      Y a it's definitly scary how the slaves have their master's babies I bet they felt so alone. Sad Times

    • profile image

      sabrina 6 years ago

      i love the book ... so much tragedy

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 7 years ago

      Clay did not REALLY like Amari, he raped her only because he could and because that was the mindset of slave owners. They did anything to feel superior and to make sure slaves stayed in their places and did not act out. Do not confuse Clay's willingness to capture Amari and bring her back as love. Certainly chasing her with a gun was not love.

    • profile image

      dghdg 7 years ago

      why did the idiot liked amari

    • profile image

      congo 7 years ago

      I liked the book

    • profile image

      dude 7 years ago

      Iread this book it was a sad story and I think what happened to massa Clay was suitable for him

    • profile image

      sash 7 years ago

      very good story, and well written, enjoyed it so much, its sad but it really make you realize that you must appreciate life and be grateful for what you have.

    • profile image

      sash 7 years ago

      very good story, and well written, enjoyed it so much, its sad but it really make you realize that you must appreciate life and be grateful for what you have.

    • wrenfrost56 profile image

      wrenfrost56 8 years ago from U.K.

      I am an avid reader and always on the look out for something worth my time, this sounds well worth a read, gritty, sad and an issue not covered often enough.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 8 years ago from carthage ill

      great write sad truth not enough rapes get filed


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