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“A White Heron” and “The Passing of Grandison” Analysis, Essay Example

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The fictional account of “A White Heron” can certainly prove to be a better tool for environmentalists than nonfiction articles for a good many reasons. Fiction gives an author the most creative license possible to cater to their specific audience, making it very easy to pull on heartstrings. This is the most effective way in any persuasion to make someone see as yourself–by helping them relate to the issue, directly or indirectly, the impact something can have is much greater.

Often scholarly nonfiction articles become muddied and cluttered with too much information too quickly, making it impossible for any major pieces to be absorbed. In this way, many articles can become disconnected with their target audiences–destroying their effectiveness.

The story “The Passing of Grandison” had many paradoxes with regards to race as a whole. “Grandison” is portrayed as a very obedient slave to his white masters, even disagreeing with thoughts of freedom. In many ways, he is the stereotypical slave in the South for the time period. The irony remains in the title; to refer to a slave as “passing” at the time was to refer to a light-skinned African-American trying to pose as a white man. Grandison was the complete opposite–obviously placed in purposefully by Chesnutt.

The true “passing” of Grandison was his true intelligence–the intelligence he would never show his white masters. The fact that the story ended with a slave outsmarting his white master openly was paradoxical, and also extremely brave of Chesnutt to publish at the racially charged time this story was originally released.

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