The Corruption Of Slavery During The 19th Century

1571 WordsDec 12, 20157 Pages
Olivia Seeney Dr. Michael Crews ENGL 202 Lit of the U.S.: Beginning-Civil War 11 December, 2015 The Corruption of Slavery in Benito Cereno” “From the beginning of the “Melville Revival” in the 1920’s until late in the 60’s, when “Benito Cereno” had come to be seen as one of his masterpieces of short fiction, the critical consensus held that the story was one of evil (the blacks) attempting to destroy good (the whites) (Beauchamp).” However, as most of the events that occur through the story it is unclear if this is a true speculation or not. The practice of slave trading was, and still is, a despicable act of the “traffic in slaves (Oxford English Dictionary).” According to popular consensus it is often thought that the African American slaves were the main antagonists of the story, while the White men are the protagonists, mainly Captain Delano. A fact that is often times forgotten is that the white men were slave masters who most likely took the revolting slaves away from their families and homes, all the while treating them worse than animals. It is clear based on this text is that the acts performed by both the slaves and the slave masters are horribly cruel on both accounts. But this also begs the question, is there a true protagonist out of all of the characters in the story? After observing the motives and means for the evil actions performed by both the slaves and the masters, as well as the spectator of this interaction, the reader is able to better understand the

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