The Blood of Emmett Till Themes

Timothy B. Tyson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 39 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Blood of Emmett Till.
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The Myth of the Antebellum South

The myth of the pre-Civil War South pervades the account of the killing of Emmett Till as it influenced the conflicting attitudes toward blacks in Mississippi during the 1950s.

This myth, predicated on the existence of slavery, celebrates Southern belles, gorgeous plantation mansions, and, most significantly, contented slaves who are cared for by overseers and masters. Much of this image has to do with Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With the Wind, published in 1936 and made into the famous film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Its significance here has to do with Carolyn Bryant’s upbringing on a former plantation that endowed her with a sense of privilege as well as paternalism. In other words, blacks were far from equal with whites, but one treated them with a kind of condescending head-patting as opposed to outright cruelty. This ambivalence presented itself to...

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This section contains 2,137 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Blood of Emmett Till Study Guide
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