The Passing of Grandison:
I When it is said that it was done to please a woman, there ought perhaps to be enough said to explain anything; for what a man will not do to please a woman is yet to be discovered. In the early fifties, when the growth of anti-slavery sentiment and the constant drain of fugitive slaves into the North had so alarmed the slaveholders of the border States as to lead to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, a young white man from Ohio, moved by compassion for the sufferings of a certain bondman who happened to have a "hard master," essayed to help the slave to freedom.
The attempt was discovered and frustrated; the abductor was tried and convicted for slave-stealing, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the penitentiary.
The Passing of Grandison is set just after the passage of the Federal Fugitive Slave Law Dick Owens, the central character, is the lazy young heir to a large plantation in Kentucky. His desire to win the affection of Charity Lomax leads him on a mission to accomplish something of humanitarian importance. Charles Chesnutt’s “The Passing of Grandison” is an excellent reflection of the masks worn by people of the south in the era of controversy surrounding slave-ownership. Works Cited Norton Anthology of American Literature Vol. II. W.W. Norton and Company. Discussion of themes and motifs in Charles Waddell Chesnutt's The Passing of Grandison. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Passing of Grandison so you can excel.
His death, after the expiration of only a small part of the sentence, from cholera contracted while nursing stricken fellow prisoners, lent to the case a melancholy interest that made it famous in anti-slavery annals.
Dick Owens had attended the trial. He was a youth of about twenty-two, intelligent, handsome, and amiable, but extremely indolent, in a graceful and gentlemanly way; or, as old Judge Fenderson put it more than once, he was lazy as the Devil,--a mere figure of speech, of course, and not one that did justice to the Enemy of Mankind.
His father was rich; there was but one other child, an unmarried daughter, who because of poor health would probably never marry, and Dick was therefore heir presumptive to a large estate.
Wealth or social position he did not need to seek, for he was born to both. If he had either, he would soon need the snaffle to hold him back.
The story was never really known to but two persons until after the war, when it came out because it was a good story and there was no particular reason for its concealment.
Young Owens had attended the trial of this slave-stealer, or martyr,--either or both,--and, when it was over, had gone to call on Charity Lomax, and, while they sat on the veranda after sundown, had told her all about the trial.
He was a good talker, as his career in later years disclosed, and described the proceedings very graphically. It appeared that he was of good family, and that he had an old father and mother, respectable people, dependent upon him for support and comfort in their declining years.
He had been led into the matter by pity for a negro whose master ought to have been run out of the county long ago for abusing his slaves. But father and the rest of them stood on the principle of the thing, and told the judge so, and the fellow was sentenced to three years in the penitentiary.
When I hear of a cruel deed it makes the Quaker blood that came from my grandmother assert itself. As for the young man, I regard him as a hero.
He dared something for humanity. I could love a man who would take such chances for the sake of others. Are you never going to love me? His hand sought hers, but she drew it back beyond his reach. One must read two years to become a lawyer, and work five more to make a reputation.
We shall both be gray by then.
This one did something, or at least tried to. What do you want me to do, sweetheart?The Passing of Grandison Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for The Passing of Grandison is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel..
Ask Your Own Question. "The Passing of Grandison" is a short story written by Charles W. Chesnutt and published in the collection The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color-Line (). The story takes place in the United States in the early s.
Charles Chesnutt’s “The Passing of Grandison” is an excellent reflection of the masks worn by people of the south in the era of controversy surrounding slave-ownership. Works Cited Norton Anthology of American Literature Vol. II. W.W.
Norton and Company. “The Passing of Grandison” is told in the third person and primarily limited to the consciousness of Dick Owens, the cynical and lazy young heir . The Passing Of Grandison Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
The Passing of Grandison by Charles W. Chesnutt "The Passing of Grandison" is featured in the African American Library, a collection of literary works by African-American authors, with additional references useful to students interested in African-American Studies.