scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,596
Who are the real savages When Herman Melville wrote Benito Cereno he was undoubtedly influenced by the way of the times In 1855 when the story was first printed slave owners had but one fear that their slaves would revolt against them Whether on Americas southern plantations or a slave trading ship off the coast of Chile the blacks often out numbered the whites Perhaps it was this fear that drove Melville to write this story the way that he did For if he wrote a story about slaves revolting and glorified the slaves as was done in Amistad there is no doubt that Melville would have been shunned by the slave owners of America Also as with Amistad this story is based on actual events from the early nineteenth century so Melville had documentation as to what had supposedly happened In Benito Cereno Melville portrays the blacks as the bad-guys when the fault really lies on the whites Although the blacks actions are warranted in this story either due to the sources he had to write from when it was written or his own personal views Melville writes numerous reasons we should see them as savages Having written the book from court depositions the information Melville was given might have been quite biased Given the times it would have been easy for the voice of a white captain to be heard over that of a black slave from Africa who may or may not even know English The depositions were made primarily from a white mans perspective who could have easily manipulated events in his favor The issue of slavery is not brought up at all in the story this is because the sailors realize what it is to be a slave when they are under the control of the blacks on the San Dominick That might be one reason why the blacks are used as a scapegoat for the problems
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA