Analysis Of Babouk, By Guy Endore

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Art, be it a painting or a literary work, is occasionally used as a channel for expressing a person’s point of view. In novels, this can be portrayed through the tone and word choice within the text. However art may just as likely be critiqued and not appreciated. This was how Babouk, by Guy Endore, was treated because of the way it depicted history. When looking at Babouk there is a sense of an underlying political view of the author. This is due to how Endore uses the concept of 18th century slavery as a way of talking about the treatment of African Americans in the 1930s. Endore uses ironic word choice which in turn gives the novel a sarcastic tone. The tone is what, in the end, portrays his view of the 1930s and gives the reader a better…show more content…
He does so at first when talking about why the “nigger taster” spit in the faces of the Africans (Endore 5). In that passage he seems to address the incident sarcastically. He says that it 's bad enough the “nigger taster” had to lick the blacks, but imagine having to swallow the spit as well. This presents his point of view pretty early on within the text. This introduces us to Endore’s sarcastic tone. To clarify his political stance however, he addresses the reader in a more direct sense – by apologizing. That apology, of course, was meant as an ironic addition. In that passage the narrator mentions how you can 't be kind or gentle with a Negro or they’ll end up betraying you. However, the betrayal examples mentioned may also have occurred by chance and may not actually have been planned. Endore connects this point to unjust punishment given to Negroes based on accusations alone. In addition to that point he mentions the lynching of an African American who may or may not have raped a girl. He then apologizes and states how that “was an anachronistic slip…Today the black man is everywhere free and equal to the white” (Endore 53). The choice to include both the statement about the lynching and the statement of equality expresses a political view. It seemed as if he was referring to the Scottsboro trials where nine African American boys, in the 1930s, were accused of raping two white…show more content…
This was partly due to the difference between the African Americans and the whites. They would watch the whites go to church with envy. At one point there was a mention of how the blacks would wait for the whites church session to be over so they could be blessed with the priest’s preaching. The priest would tell them how if they behave and are good on earth they would be sent to heaven. The slaves are all enthused because they have a chance to be sent to “white heaven” (Endore 92). However the way the priest explains it is that God didn 't judge by skin color he judged by how a person acted. This in itself is a political statement because this shows that the differences between races were man made and not how man was created. This in theory goes against how many people in the 1800s and even the 1930s viewed
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