Race and Slavery between Nationalism and Regionalism in Herman Melville’s White Jacket (1850) and Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (1883)
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This piece of research aims to study Race and slavery between Nationalism and Regionalism in the American society during the 19thcentury in relation to Herman Melville’s White Jacket (1850) and Mark Twain‘s Life on the Mississippi (1883). In fact, the two authors have linked the concept of Slavery to that of Race differently. While Melville provides a national vision about slavery in the United States, Twain focuses on slavery just on one Mississippi region and depicts the socio-economic status of that specific place in America. Our work and findings are based on the theory of “Racism” which is developed by Albert Memmi who views Racism as the awareness of the distinction between social groups on the basis of culture, religion, social status, and even physical appearance. For Memmi, Racism is manifested via physical and moral aggression exercised by the superior race over the inferior one. These aspects that Memmi discussed in his theory about race and slavery are apparent in the two novels. To achieve our work, we have supported our work by a historical background about Slavery and Black Race in the 19th century America. In our analysis, we have discussed how Race and Slavery are manifested in the novel of White Jacket by referring to the different races abroad the ship of war and the way they are treated. In the end, we have shown how Twain has linked racism to the black race and the manner the blacks are exploited on the steamboat and in the plantation fields of the American south west.
- Département d'Anglais