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Iola Leroy Literature Writing


Develop a primary post that responds to the following prompt by Friday, 11:59pm. I encourage you to post earlier in the week to get our discussion going!

A turning point—I might argue the turning point—for Iola comes when she discovers that slavery is wrong by being enslaved herself: “I never had the faintest suspicion that there was any wrongfulness in slavery. . . . I have passed through a fiery ordeal, but this ministry of suffering will not be in vain. I feel that my mind has matured beyond my years. I am a wonder to myself.

It seems as if years had been compressed into a few short months” (87, 88). In her confession to Dr. Gresham, Iola describes being transformed by her experience. She now has a better sense of purpose. What do you think of Iola as a character and the titular protagonist of the novel? Does Harper portray Iola as a realistic character with depth or is Iola an unrealistic ideal?

Be sure to analyze a specific passage from the novel with at least one quote!
Need help? Refer to the critical inquiry section in this week’s overview, as well as our Guide for Studying the Novel.


To earn a “Complete,” follow the Guidelines for Discussion Posts for primary and secondary posts and peeps. A primary post (approx. 300words) responds directly to the question above, and includes at least one quote from the novel, properly cited with an MLA parenthetical citation to indicate where in the novel the passage/quote appears.

Read your peers’ posts before posting! Posts that repeat what others have already said will be marked “Incomplete.” You may take up a similar point or question someone else has raised, but then develop it with a different passage or new insight.

Week’s overview

Guide for Studying the Novel.

Last Updated on July 12, 2019

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