Still Uncertain

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"The instant that was done, Don Benito sprang over the blwarks, falling at the feet of Captain Delano; at the same time calling towards his ship, but in tones so frenzied, that none in the boat could understand him" (Melville 518).

This story was long and annoying, and if not for the small hints that helped in trying to figure out what was going and who was against who, it would have progressed from a headache to a migraine to get through. Ok, now that I got that out, I can move on.

Towards the middle of the story, I knew that someone would end up attacking someone else before the story was over, it was only a matter of discovering who was against who. Melville could have had readers leaning several different ways: that he was presenting whites against blacks in the example of Benito Cereno being a captain over an almost all black ship, the black sailors dominating the white sailors in that they were only using Benito Cereno as an escuse to get to Captain Delano's boat, or it had nothing to do with race and was simply the crew of the San Dominick against Captain Delano's crew. I believe there are several other reactions possible as well, these are just to name a few.

By the end of the story, I viewed Melville's tale as how Derek kind of mentioned in his blog:  as a means of depicting how slavery was viewed at that time. I not only had a reaction towards this story, but also towards what we have learned literary criticism in general. There were many points throughout the story where I felt as if I could use formalism or some other type of criticism, but I wasn't sure how to start or approach it. I feel as if I have learned skills and recognize what they are, but I still can't apply them or at least don't feel comfortable with applying them. I still don't feel as if everything has quite clicked yet.


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~Depth~       Here are a few blogs that are a little longer and had a little more work than usual put into them. Some of them are explanations, many are questions and thoughts that I had on a particular work... Read More

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