the wife of his youth

1243 Words5 Pages
Sangaré
Cheick Omar
Engl 230
James Taylor
September the 29

The Wife of His Youth

Question: Discuss the theme of race in Chesnutt ‘The Wife of His Youth’?

After the civil war, racial issues affect society and Charles Chesnutt a regional realist writer tackles the subject. The difference between black and white, which should logically disappear, increases, and the African American community is experiencing exclusion in some societies. Chesnutt through his text "The Wife of his youth" refers to the problem by showing the contrast between black and white. He does not hesitate to create a character belonging to the two worlds so that embodies the image of a possible unification.
The essay begins by the exclusion accentuated
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So the guests become witnesses and take part in the story. Mr Ryder tells the story as an exterior character, we can note the use of the pronoun "he" throughout its history.
He raises many questions to guests to make sure they understand the situation and that they approve of his decision; "Suppose That he was young, and she much older than he, that she was light, and she was black" (Chesnutt 35), "Suppose, too, that he made his way to the North ..." (Chesnutt 35). He does not seek to prolong the suspense, but to test and measure the reaction of the members. This attitude shows that despite his loyalty to his wife, he is none the less attached to his current status. He unveils the truth when he feels that the members approve the eventual choice; "And now, ladies and gentlemen, friends and companions, I ask you, what he should have done?" (Chesnutt 36).
Presumably Chesnutt put his character in a dilemma in order to show that unification is possible because at the end members share the opinion of Ryder knowing that Liza is black. This is more than an approval; it is a step forward.

Charles Chesnutt uses some specific techniques of regional realist. First, he plays with the tone of his characters by using the regional dialect, but he describes some real facts, as in many others of his writings. For example in "The Goophered Grape Vine" (26), the narrator is an old black and the
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