Racism In The Goophered Grapevine By Charles Chesnutt

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Racism in the United States has been disputed over continuously since the creation of our society. We deeply honor Christopher Columbus, the man who “discovered” America, and our founding fathers, who built us up from nothing. When in reality we live on stolen soil that was built by enslaved people who the Americans treated like barbaric animals for more than 200 years. In the story “The Goophered Grapevine” Charles Chesnutt shows the consequences of those years of torture and brutality on the African race through a black man named Julius that the narrator, John, and his wife, Annie, meet at a vineyard in North Carolina. Chesnutt published this story in August of 1887, so it is easy to assume that the setting of the story is around the same…show more content…
For the majority of Chesnutt’s work, Julius is telling a story and half of his words are complete gibberish. One can safely presume that the educational opportunities Julius was presented with were slim to none when he was younger. While John on the other hand, was a business owner, who without a doubt must have had a reasonable amount of schooling in his day, otherwise he would not know the ins and outs of running a business. The diverse set of vocabulary Chesnutt uses throughout the story exemplifies the environmental injustice and racism in the late…show more content…
For Julius, being the owner of a business was probably very far out of reach and honestly not realistic for someone of his race in the late 1800s. While for John, the possibility of travelling across the country to buy and run another vineyard was completely reasonable and achievable. The typical white man in this time period was presented with a plethora of opportunities while the hardworking black man was limited to being an employee and never an employer. At the end of the literary work it is revealed that Julius had lived in a cabin not far from the plantation and had been earning quite a profit off of the abandoned grapevines and ironically was his own employee and employer. With this in mind and the double standards between the races, Julius told the story of the bewitched vineyard in hope that is would drive the potential buyers away. Julius’s scheme failed him, but he was lucky that it did because John later said “that the wages I pay him for his services are more than an equivalent for anything he lost by the sale of the

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