The House Behind the Cedars Essay examples

2768 Words Aug 14th, 2013 12 Pages
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Essay Sample: Page 2
To which the Judge replied, "You are aware, of course, that you are a negro?" and the

conversation goes on. "I am white," replied the lad, turning back his sleeve and holding out his

arm, "and I am free, as my people were before me." "You are black," he said, "and you are not

free..The Judge goes on to tell him why he is not free."It may all be true," replied the boy, "but it

don't apply to me. It says 'the negro.' A negro is black; I am white, and not black." "Black as ink,

my lad...."One drop of black blood makes the whole man black."(Chesnutt) After serving as an

apprentice lawyer in Judge Straight’s office and after reviewing the laws regarding

miscegenation in the South, he and Judge Straight decide that South Carolina is the best place in

the South for John’s new identity. Thus, a few years before the Civil War, the eighteen-year-old

John Walden gets money from his mother, Molly, kisses his little sister Rena good-bye, and

leaves his hometown of Patesville, North Carolina, for Clarence, South Carolina. There, he takes

the name John Warrick and begins his life as a white man.

In the first chapter of the book, John Warwick (formerly Walden) returns to the town of his

birth, Patesville. For ten years he has been practicing the great deception of "passing" or posing

as a white man. He had assumed the name Warwick, married a rich white widow who owned a

large plantation, passed the South
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