Book Review Of The House Behind The Cedars By Charles Chesnutt

1695 Words7 Pages

The House Behind The Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt is a unique novel that focuses on the major issues that occurred during a very judgmental and strict period in America. This novel highlights many different aspects and themes that all center around race, whether speaking about race as a whole or speaking on how strict racism was during this time. Chesnutt's main focus of this novel is race identity and racial relations that occurred in the south. In this paper I will speak about the Chesnutt’s themes throughout this novel that informs us on how it felt to be a black person living in a white America. This is important because it makes us more aware of the circumstances during the post civil war times. Chesnutt wants to show us the importance …show more content…

These siblings are of a lighter tone and could be seen by appearance as a white person, they take this opportunity to use this to their advantage and pass for white in order to claim their share of the American dream. There were numerous challenges along the journey for these two siblings that they faced which had advantages and also disadvantages. The situations that they endured shows how during this timeframe the conditions were very unjust for blacks that they would have to endure certain situations in order to be accepted. The experience of being black in white America is touched upon throughout Chesnutt’s novel in a wide range of means, it is most clearly shown in the special considerations that were given to those who were a black but a so light that they could pass for a white person during this time. Chesnutt’s writing shows us many different themes throughout the course of this novel, but he spends a significant amount of time speaking on the perspectives of both black and white people in white …show more content…

This novel shows us the differences and the direct racial relations between white and blacks during the post-Civil War era. One of the best examples of how these tensions were would be the conversation between Plato and George Tyron. Plato is one of Rena Warwick’s students who was a former slave of Mr. Tyron before the Civil War. After the Civil War Plato was granted his freedom he could not break the habit of referring to Mr.Tyron as “Master”. Chesnutt on many different occasions throughout this novel informs the readers on the true thoughts on one another. This novel shows us all sides of racial relations that existed during these times. “There were difficulties—they had seemed insuperable, but love would surmount them. Sacrifices must be made, but if the world without love would be nothing, then why not give up the world for love? He would hasten to Patesville. He would find her; he would tell her that he loved her, that she was all the world to him, that he had come to marry her, and take her away where they might be happy together” (Chesnutt). This quote demonstrates how George Tryon ignores the way that Rena is of a darker skin tone and that his adoration for

Open Document