The Goophered Grapevine

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Tremayne Edwards
Dr. Matthew Towles
ENGL 341
11 October 2012 2012
Opposites Attract 2.0 (Extended Version)
During the turn of the latter portion of the nineteenth century, many authors wrote literature with an American Realism approach. An approach that gave others an in depth look at conditions happening in the country. Charles W. Chesnutt was one of them. Chesnutt, author of “The Goophered Grapevine”, writes a story that represents the sentiments of that time: the north was in the south, yet the south was resistant. The reason for this invasion was to reconstruct after the Civil War. This story shows the symbolic relationship, through characters, and even with dialect, of the North and the South during the aftermath of the civil war—the power struggle. Taking this story apart, literary wise, you cannot help but notice how there is many distinctions between the two parties—thus a part of realism: presenting somewhat realistic views or the conditions. These two characters are used as very interesting representatives of their time. Not only were both sides represented, but they were also represented in a stereotypical way, which sometimes help enlighten the message—the Northerner as an educated man, a fair man who was coming down to start business in the south. Not only was he bringing his business to the south, but also he was buying—taking over—a former business and making the grounds into his own. This was symbolic to the North coming down to the South after the war to help rebuild what was destroyed—just like the former plantation was destroyed, in a sense, and now being reconstructed by someone from the North. While helpful, the North was never really welcomed—which brings me back to the southerner. Julius, a very uneducated man (academically), was a former slave of the same plantation the Northerner was trying to inhabit. Once keen to their intentions, Julius presents an elaborate story to—allegedly—coax the possible future proprietors from buying his...
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