Benito Cereno | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of Benito Cereno.
This section contains 5,921 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Gloria Horsley-Meacham

SOURCE: “Bull of the Nile: Symbol, History, and Racial Myth in ‘Benito Cereno,’” in The New England Quarterly, Vol. LXIV, No. 2, June, 1991, pp. 225-42.

In the following essay, Horsley-Meacham argues that while “Benito Cereno” ostensibly upholds racial myths, it contains a subversively “egalitarian and humane” element.

Herman Melville seems an astute observer of African sensibilities when, in Moby Dick, his sharp-witted Daggoo inveighs against conventional associations with his color, declaring: “Who's afraid of black's afraid of me!”1 Yet, in a later work, “Benito Cereno,” a setting perfectly designed to explore Black ethos, Melville buries insight under layers of stereotypic symbol. As he “satanizes” his bondsmen, obscuring virtually every worthy trait ascribed to them in his source, Amasa Delano's A Narrative of Voyages and Travels, blackness becomes ever more fearsome. Though the tale examines, as Allan Moore Emery has recently asserted, “the malign potential in every man,” the San...

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This section contains 5,921 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Gloria Horsley-Meacham
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Critical Essay by Gloria Horsley-Meacham from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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