White Ideology in Classic Literature
This paper, based on Toni Morrison's "Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature," explores the assumptions of "whiteness" in scholarly interpretations of American literature.
# 23101 | 1,115 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on Mar 31, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (General)
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This paper discusses "whiteness" in American classic literature, with emphasis Melville's "Moby Dick" and states that Melville paints a terrifying picture of the horrors of overwhelming whiteness as represented by the White Whale. The paper contrasts Melville's fear of "whiteness" with Emerson's concept that white is beautiful. The author of the paper concludes that it is often necessary to rethink classical conceptions of American literature.
From the Paper:"Emerson says change the way you see (spiritually as well as physically), and change the world. Melville states that our ability to see is corrupt and rotten with a palsied whiteness. Emerson's essay is almost entirely framed in regards to light and sight, both of the physical sense and the spiritual sense to which the perfection of Nature will guide us. In the famous metaphor of the Transparent Eyeball, Emerson says that he is nothing, he sees all. Emerson uses natural metaphors he can gaze upon without engaging with, like the stars, the sight of which "will separate between him and vulgar things." In contrast, Melville's Ahab makes a mockery of that notion that somehow any human being can become "nothing," can cast away his previous assumptions and nature and merely observe. "
Cite this Analytical Essay:
White Ideology in Classic Literature (2003, March 31) Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/white-ideology-in-classic-literature-23101/
"White Ideology in Classic Literature" 31 March 2003. Web. 29 July. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/white-ideology-in-classic-literature-23101/>