In Good Fortune, Anna is faced with several different facets of love and through her “coming of age” she naturally watches the unfolding of love in its different forms. Through her relationship with John, she discovers a world, both sacred and forbidden, on the plantation that serves as a dangerous place to invest her heart. Subsequently, with her separation from John for several years, Anna learns how to place life in perspective, and teaches herself how to lean on her own heart, her aspirations and goals. Even after John miraculously finds Anna in the end, she has learned how to place her heart in different arenas- her schooling, her teaching, her community- understanding that all things have a time to come, and a time to go. At the same time, the love of family permeates nearly everything that Anna finds herself involved with. This universal love serves as a source of hope and certainly plays a large role in Anna’s perseverance.
To place this theme in a larger context, the concept of love is a strained and difficult ideal in the history of slavery, for how could one place their heart in anything that, at any moment, could suddenly be torn away? Anna experiences some of these tragic aspects of slavery what with her mother’s death, John’s beating, the auction block scene, etc. It is important to understand that love’s place on the grand scale of the African American family sat rightfully next to a constant, nearly deadening sense of dread. This is the reality slavery created.