Study Guide

Black Beauty Chapter 20

By Anna Sewell

Chapter 20

Joe Green

  • After his disastrous newbie mistake, Joe Green turns out to be a good stable boy after all, with his small size being his only disadvantage.
  • One morning Joe rides Beauty out to deliver a note. On their way back, they find a cart full of bricks that's stuck in the mud, with the carter "shouting and flogging the two horses unmercifully" (20.2). Uh-uh… Beauty seems to have a knack for finding horses who are being mistreated.
  • Joe implores the carter to stop, but the man won't listen; Beauty thinks the man may be drunk. Joe urges Beauty to the nearby house of the brick maker, where he reports this incident.
  • When they get home, John is shocked at Joe's anger and tells the boy he did the right thing.
  • Later on, Joe is called up to Squire Gordon's house to give evidence against the man who'd whipped the horses. When Joe gets back to the stable, he's in a very good mood, and Beauty hears later that the carter was sent to a trial, and might even get prison time because of Joe's testimony.
  • Beauty notes that Joe seems to grow up a lot after this, that "there was more purpose and determination in all that he did—as if he had jumped all at once from a boy into a man" (20.17).

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