Book Review : ' The Passing Of Grandison '

887 Words Oct 14th, 2014 4 Pages
Grandison’s Mask
Wearing a mask or putting on some sort of facade is more often than not considered a form of deception. In addition, wearing a mask is usually associated with a manner of trickery or illusion. Throughout history, many slaves wore them purely because the mask hid the true emotions that the slaves were feeling. Wearing a mask and suppressing their genuine feelings was a way for slaves to prevent the slave master from truly knowing what was going on inside their minds, and more importantly, this allowed the slaves to have a bit of individuality without their master’s detection. The mask also gave the false impression that the slaves were exactly how their masters assumed, uninformed, unable of feeling true emotion, and not capable to think for themselves.
An ideal display of the mask is found in Charles Chestnutt’s, “The Passing of Grandison.” In this story, Colonel, the slave master thought that his servant Grandison would on no account try to escape if permitted to go on a journey with his son, Dick. In fact, the Colonel recommends that Dick take Grandison along on his travels rather than Tom, who Dick was trying to take at first. “What’s the matter with Grandison?” suggested the colonel. “He’s handy enough, and I reckon we can trust him. He’s too fond of good eating to risk losing his regular meals; besides, he’s sweet on your mother’s maid, Betty…” (594) This passage shows the Colonel’s confidence in Grandison as a faithful servant, and illuminates the…
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