Great Short Works of Herman Melville - Study Guide Chapter 12 - Benito Cereno Summary & Analysis

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Benito Cereno tells the story of the ship San Dominick, captained by Benito Cereno. The ship is an ancient Spanish galleon. The ship boards passengers, goods, and many black slaves for a trip along the west coast of South America. Because Alexandro Aranda, the chief passenger, slave-owner, and personal friend of Cereno, claims the slaves are tractable, they are not chained during the voyage. Part-way through the voyage the slaves commence a rebellion and seize the ship. Aranda himself is butchered with axes and his body is apparently cannibalized, at least in part, during a dark ritual. His skeleton is subsequently riveted to the prow of the ship, replacing its figurehead. Many of the Spanish crewmen, including all of the officers except Cereno, are murdered in various methods—being hacked apart or tied up and thrown overboard, or both, being...

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This section contains 851 words
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Buy the Great Short Works of Herman Melville Study Guide
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