Racism Exposed In Charles Chesnutt's The Doll

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Charles Chesnutt’s “The Doll” is a story of seeking truth, facing discrimination, and making bold choices for the sake of one’s own livelihood. Through Tom Taylor’s slow-building narrative, Chesnutt reveals the complications keeping the barber from exacting his revenge on the man who murdered his father, despite having the perfect opportunity to do so when the same man, Colonel Forsyth, steps into Tom’s barbershop. While “The Doll” primarily illustrates Tom’s emotional turmoil as the colonel taunts him by retelling the story of his father’s death, it also presents a overarching question at the heart of this tale, regarding how black Americans are to advance and protect themselves as individuals within a societal system built against that very …show more content…

As defined on p.17 of Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, “[t]he movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, context, group- and self-interest, and even feelings and the unconscious.” This theory mainly explores six core elements regarding race: (1) Racism is ordinary, not aberrational, and is therefore often ignored, (2) racism advances the interests of both white elites and working-class Caucasians, and therefore leaves society with little reason to eradicate it, (3) race is the product of social thought and relations, (4) different minority groups receive different racializations at different times as a result of shifting needs, resulting in changing stereotypes, (5) each race has its own origins and ever-evolving history, resulting in potentially conflicting, overlapping identities, loyalties, and allegiances, (6) minority status brings out a presumed competence to speak about race and racism, creating unique voices of color (Delgado et al. 19-21). Keeping these elements in mind, the prevalence and existence of such factors in Chesnutt’s “The Doll” can therefore be

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