"Justice for the Unjust"ÃÂ Catharine Maria Sedgwick wrote Hope Leslie with the view of the Indians in mind. She also included the prejudice against them. This is clearly expressed in the character of Jennet. Jennet should have walked in another's moccasin's but she did not and ultimately paid the price of death, which was justice for her unjust treatment of the Indians.
In the beginning of the novel when Magawisca arrived to the Fletcher's home the first comment made by Jennet, who is just a serving woman was "That you should be mightily thankful, Tawney, that you are snatched as a brand from the burning (pg 24)."ÃÂ This immediately made me feel that Jennet was prejudice because of the racist term "Tawney"ÃÂ referring to the color of Magawisca's skin color. Everell immediately came to Magawisca's defense by saying, "Hush, Jennet!"ÃÂ Then he stuck Jennet with the point of an arrow which he had in his hand (pg 24).
Even though Jennet was a loyal servant to the Fletcher's she always made some type of loathsome comment. For instance when Mr. Fletcher asked Jennet to take Magawisca to another apartment she obeyed but muttering as she went, "a notable providence this concerning the Pequod caitiff. Even like Adonibezek, as he has done to other the Lord hath requited him (pg 26)."ÃÂ It seemed throughout the novel that Jennet was always trying to stir up trouble. She caused many problems for Nelema. When Magawisca was talking to Mrs. Fletcher about Nelema speech, Jennet said, "It is a shame and a sin."ÃÂ She also went on to say, "A crying shame, for this heathen hag to be pouring forth here as if she were gifted like the prophets of old; she that can only see into the future by reading the devil's book and if that be the case, as more than one has mistrusted, it were best, forthwith, to deliver her to the judges and cast her into prison (pg 38)."ÃÂ Jennet alleges that Magawisca and Nelema are practicing witchcraft in the moonlight. This is initially ignored by Mrs. Fletcher and Everell. However later in the novel when the Fletcher family is sitting on the porch, Everell says to Magawisca, "Why are you so dismal? Your voice is too sweet for a bird of ill-omen. I shall begin to think as Jennet says "ÃÂ though Jennet is not text-book for me "ÃÂ I shall begin to think old Nelema has really bewitched you (pg 62)."ÃÂ Magawisca is feeling dismal because she knows that the Fletcher family is in danger. What follows in the novel is a horrific slaughter to Mrs. Fletcher and her children; fortunately, Everell and Faith are spared. Jennet also survived by finding a hiding spot in the house and was found covered in soot. When Jennet was questioned about what happened she was only concerned with her self-preservation and not that of the dead or missing (pg 68).
Master Cradock was bitten by a snake and Hope is prepared to suck the venom out of his wound but he would not allow this. Hope then remembers that Nelema had an antidote for a rattlesnake bite. Jennet had a problem with going to Nelema she said, "The old heathen witch."ÃÂ "It were better, to die, than to live by the devil's help (pg 103).' Hope disagreed with her and went into Nelema hut while Master Cradock was being cured. Jennet goes to the town elders and accuses Nelema of witchcraft. Nelema was tried before the town magistrates and sentenced to death. Luckily, Hope Leslie helped Nelema escape to save her sister Faith (Mary).
Jennet finally received her just reward when the Chaddock vessel exploded. She was the only actual sufferer, was the only one neither missed nor inquired for (pg 338). This goes to shows that goes around comes around. In Jennet's case, she treated the Indian race unjustly and received the ultimate justice of death.