Ben Themes & Characters

Julius Lester
This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ben.
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The narrator is an equivocating hypocrite who wants in his heart to do right but does not seem to be able to see his way to doing good, mostly because he is confused about right and wrong. He remarks that "we spend our lives not really knowing what we think or feel, afraid that if we do, it may totally disrupt our lives." This is the keynote for the development of his character. He wants a smooth life, one where he can avoid the ethical problems that dog him; he wants to marry Samantha without having to worry about the slaves he would end up owning. His solution is to persuade himself that, as the slave owners tell him, blacks do not think like whites and do not mind being slaves.

He would ask Ben about how slaves feel about slavery, but realizes that...

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This section contains 942 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ben Short Guide
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