At the electric moment when Delano perceives the true nature of the Cereno-Babo relationship, the drawn knife threatens not only Cereno, but the American as well, who, in his shortsightedness, fails to comprehend the nearness of danger.
In the same fashion, America as a whole overlooks the lurking menace of its dependence on slavery. The irony of Delano as central intelligence is that he naively encourages Cereno to embrace blue skies, sunshine, and gentle winds so as to overleap his past encounter with evil. Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, Delano anticipates a paradise to come. Cereno, more sophisticated than his American counterpart, speaks his coming to knowledge in one damning phrase, "the negro," his nemesis and ultimate burden for the criminal act of trading in flesh.
Acquiescent to his irredeemable status, he retires to the care of Infelez, whose name means "unlucky," the monk who tends him at Mount Agonia, or "Mount Agony," the only home he will know in his remaining three months and the cemetery where he will spend eternity. Previous Literary Technique in Benito Cereno"". Next The Motif of the Imprisoning Microcosm. The same dynamic is shown when Babo is shaving Don Benito and cuts him. The two Africans who pushed aside the Spanish seaman, and the African boy who attacked the Spanish boy were demonstrating their control over the ship and its passengers.
These are all important details that illustrate the underlying events of the ship, but the reader is not able to correctly interpret them during the first reading. These events are only significant to the reader once the conspiracy has been revealed. The text of Benito Cereno is designed to mislead the reader.
The typical reader is only able to uncover the hidden clues of the story once Delano himself becomes aware of the real conspiracy. Benito Cereno — Reader Response Criticism. Accessed September 14, We will write a custom essay sample on Benito Cereno — Reader Response Criticism specifically for you. Once onboard, Delano sees that the crew is in a dismal state and that the ship carries a number of black slaves, many of whom, much to Delano's surprise, are not shackled.
He speaks with Don Benito Cereno, the ship's grave and sickly captain, who assures him that the slaves are docile. Sending his boat back for additional supplies and new sails, Delano remains on the San Dominick and attempts to discover from the tight-lipped Cereno what has caused the currently bleak condition of his craft and crew.
After some time, Cereno—who is constantly attended by Babo, his short Negro slave—explains that the San Dominick met with severe weather off Cape Horn and has endured bouts of sickness and scurvy that killed most of the Spanish crew and passengers, including Don Alexandro Aranda, the slave owner.
Noting that the weather has been calm of late, Delano begins to suspect that the Spaniard may be mentally as well as physically ill. That evening, Delano dines with Cereno and Babo, and finds that he is unable to convince the Spaniard to send Babo out of the room.
After dinner, Babo shaves the extremely nervous and agitated Cereno, nicking his check slightly with his blade. Later, Delano discovers that Babo has received a small cut on his check as well, which he claims was given him by Cereno. Delano's whaleboat returns and, as the American prepares to depart, Cereno, having previously refused to join him aboard the Bachelor's Delight, desperately springs into the waiting craft. A shocked Delano looks up to see Babo wielding a knife. Once back at Delano's ship, Cereno explains to Delano that the slaves had mutinied shortly after the San Dominick left port.
The Americans then pursue the stolen vessel, subdue the mutineers, and set sail for Lima, where a trial is held. Babo is hanged, and Don Cereno enters a nearby monastery. He dies some three months after giving his court deposition.
Although "Benito Cereno" holds a powerful message about slavery, this is not the major idea of the story. Ignorance is the fire that fuels slavery. During the entire story every main character displays signs of .
Analysis of Critical Essays on Benito Cereno - Analysis of Critical Essays on Benito Cereno It is possible to divide the critics into two camps regarding Herman Melville's purpose in writing "Benito Cereno." .
Benito Cereno study guide contains a biography of Herman Melville, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. [In the following essay, Emery examines Melville's critique of American expansionism in “Benito Cereno.” Like most authors of the first rank, Herman Melville has commonly been considered a devotee of the .
Benito Cereno and American Characteristic Essay Words | 8 Pages 19th Century Literature Prof. Bland Typical American Character “Benito Cereno” is a work that exceedingly depicts how ideological self-delusion of an American character is one of the most dangerous capacities of mankind. Benito Cereno literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Benito Cereno.