The Wife Of His Youth Charles Chesnutt Analysis

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In Charles Chesnutt’s story “The Wife of His Youth,” it illustrates the reality of what individuals of mixed races had to go through in order to fit in with society. From the beginning readers are presented with troubles African American’s had to face through racial division and inequality, along with a correlation between race and color. The main character in this story, Mr. Ryder, is a great representation of how a society can influence one’s beliefs and morals. In order to become apart of the Blue Vein society, Mr. Ryder had to leave his ethnic background behind him, so he could be accepted into a white community. The purpose of the Blue Vein Society, as Chesnutt described it, "was to establish and maintain correct social standards among…show more content…
Ryder’s wife was also a slave, and she went by the name Liza Jane. As Mr. Ryder was adjusting to his new lifestyle, he got involved with a community and committed himself to the Blue Veins. It was said that, “no one was eligible for membership who was not white enough to show blue veins,” (Chesnutt) Throughout this community, “Mr. Ryder's character personifies its values. As Tess Chakkalakal had stated in his article, this story relates the effects of a slave marriage and of an individual committed to erasing his past slave experiences in order to make a future for himself as a free man. There is enough evidence from Chesnutt’s story to back this statement up because as he fled from his life as a slave he changed his name and joined a racial group. In doing so, Mr. Ryder shows who he truly is because by being in this society he develops a new identity because he began looking down upon blacks and their skin tone just because they aren’t white enough to show blue veins, this shows how hypocritical he is. He shows his hypocrisy because he himself was, “a part of an era of slavery based on the color of his skin,” and the Blue Vein Society makes him forget about his old identity, so he ends up neglecting his real…show more content…
Ryder being the dean of the Blue Vein Society, he met many people, but one person really stood out to him and her name was Margaret Dixon. Margaret was a light-skinned young lady who was very high class, charming, and educated. Mr. Ryder fell in love with her the very moment he met her and wanted to prove this to her by planning a ball in her honor, so he could propose to her. Since Margaret had so many great assets about herself, Mr. Ryder thought she would be a great wife for him because she would not only continue to help him grow in society but also help him with his social status. By doing this Mr. Ryder shows his true colors because is signifies his hypocrisy due to the fact that he isn’t only wanting to marry her, so he can benefit, but also because he is still a married man. Mr. Ryder’s wife Liza is anything but acceptable to him and his society, and since he left Liza behind to create a new life it goes to show what kind of man he is. Liza as well as Mr. Ryder has experienced slavery, however she never once tried to cover up her heritage. Instead, she spent the past 25 years working all while trying to find her long-lost husband. The racial inequality is shown very clear when comparing Ryder’s new life and Liza’s, Liza embraced her background while Mr. Ryder was trying to write his off. In doing so, it portrays the inequality and weakness between societies. However, if Mr. Ryder marries Margaret he thinks it will eventually cover up his past. On the other

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