Benito Creno Rhetorical Analysis

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Herman Melville, the author of Benito Cereno, had a way of delivering his opinions on slavery through his various works. There are conflicting theories on whether Melville was either impartial in terms of slavery, or against it. He may not have been an abolitionist, but the messages in Benito Cereno certainly seem to denote his opposition to slavery. For instance, he portrays Delano as an ignorant white American male who is blind from his racism, and because of that is incapable of finding the truth. Next, he attempts to show that both races are capable of intelligent thought and planning. This opinion being highly contrary to the close-minded idea held by the Americans. In addition, he brings up the fact that Americans are capable of sympathy. The catch is that, …show more content…
Lastly, he attempts to shed light on the fact that slavery would threaten America. As Walsh has explained, “Melville was conscious of the problems of slavery and race, employing them repeatedly in his work” (Walsh 556). He knew that these problems existed, and he wanted to begin putting a stop to them by shedding light on the truths concerning slavery.
One way in which Melville conveys his ideas about slavery is through Captain Delano. Throughout a good portion of the story, Delano is incapable of discovering the truth. Most specifically, the truth about the situation that lay in front of him on the St. Dominic. Delano cannot even conceive of the idea that the slaves on board the ship were in the driver’s seat, as far as power is concerned. For instance, after Cereno gives the background story concerning the ship, Delano claims, “the Spaniard 's manner while telling the story. There was a gloomy hesitancy and subterfuge about it” (Melville 1145). His suspicion always lies with the Spaniards. In fact, it took Delano nearly the whole story to figure out what was really going on. Even more so, it took concrete evidence of what had been going

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