Charles W. Chesnutt | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 12 pages of analysis & critique of Charles W. Chesnutt.
This section contains 3,209 words
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SOURCE: Sundquist, Eric J. “Part 3: The Critics.” In Charles W. Chesnutt, A Study of the Short Fiction, pp. 135-42. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998.

In the following essay, originally published in his To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature in 1993, Sundquist discusses Chesnutt's skepticism about black American folk beliefs regarding the notion of conjuration and the author's emphasis on a rational explanation for the apparent success of curses and cures.

In 1901 Chesnutt contributed to Modern Culture an essay, “Superstitions and Folklore of the South.”1 What is remarkable about it, especially in light of Chesnutt's conjure tales, is his apparent degree of skepticism about black folk beliefs. In charting the background of his Uncle Julius stories, Chesnutt carefully records methods and instances of “conjuration” practiced by purported conjure doctors, both women and men. But the emphasis falls decidedly on the various rational explanations that can be...

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This section contains 3,209 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Eric J. Sundquist
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Critical Essay by Eric J. Sundquist from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.