Complete summary of Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s The Passing of Grandison. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Passing of. The Passing of Grandison has 64 ratings and 4 reviews. K. Anna said: I have arranged my thoughts into a haiku:Easy to discountThe steel under the sur. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Passing Of Grandison by Charles Waddell Chesnutt. Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s short.

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So the next day saw them westward bound, and in due course of time, by the somewhat slow conveyances of the period, they found themselves at Niagara. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Jay Delmar lists four events in the story that highlight Grandison’s successful masking: Dey ‘re diffe’nt f’m de niggers down ou’ way. His inability to understand and define his slaves in binary categories is revealed.

The story concludes as the slaveholder watches Grandison and his relatives cross Lake Erie:. Through “the reversal of polarities, particularly of the master-servant relationship, of truth and falseness, of knowledge and ignorance, and of autonomy and control,” Grandison achieves freedom. Dick decides to have Grandison kidnapped in order to appear to have helped him achieve freedom, and returns alone to thf plantation in Kentucky.

Lists with This Book. And if you please your master Dick, he ‘ll buy you a present, and a string of beads for Betty to wear when you and she get married in the fall.

The Passing of Grandison

If you wished, Grandison, you might walk chesnuty from me this very minute, and I could not lay my hand upon you to take you back. Great Britain had by then abolished slavery in Canada and other colonies in the Western Hemisphere.

Rent from DeepDyve Recommend. He chooses this particular way chesnuyt impress Charity because she admires the courage of a man from Ohio, who tried to help another man’s slave gain freedom but was unsuccessful and, as a consequence, was jailed. The end of the short story shows that Grandison has been masking in order to gain freedom not only for himself but also for his family. However, Colonel Owens, Dick’s father, is opposed to his son’s being accompanied by Cheanutt as he is convinced that the slave will escape and constitute a property loss.

Just think of their locking the poor, faithful nigger up, beating him, kicking him, depriving him of his liberty, keeping him on bread and water for three long, lonesome weeks, and he all the time dharles for the old plantation! Grandison seems to have “adopted the racist discourse of the slave system”, [8] which Colonel Owens, in the story, describes as a “blissful relationship of kindly protection on the one hand, of wise subordination and loyal dependence on the other”.


The Passing of Grandison by Charles W. Chesnutt

I ‘m going away for three weeks, to visit my aunt in Tennessee. He was a good talker, as his career in later years disclosed, and described the proceedings very graphically. I think it by no means safe to take him.

You ‘ll never do anything harder than playing cards or fox-hunting. As a result, the colonel’s view on slavery is shaken, if not completely destroyed.

I ‘ll not be gone a great while. In this story, Chesnutt alludes to other texts and people connected to African-American history.

The Passing of Grandison

Sarah rated it really liked it Nov 03, As a slave, Grandison has constraints on his self-determination and freedom of action. Any reluctance to meet his father was more than offset, however, by a stronger force drawing him homeward, for Charity Lomax must long since have returned from her visit to her aunt in Tennessee. Colonel Owens promises that he can marry Betty, the enslaved maid, after he returns if he has pleased the son.

Grandison performs according to the Sambo-mask and thus the “false mask of Blackness”, a mask responding to his master’s expectations, with the goal of surviving and eventually escaping slavery. As each of them had just returned from a journey, they spent their honeymoon at home.

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.

Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Dey ‘lows dey cbesnutt free, but dey ain’ thee sense ’nuff ter know dey ain’ half as well off as dey would be down Souf, whar dey ‘d be ‘predated.

He dared something for humanity. He came near losing his belief in the fidelity of the negro to his master,–the servile virtue most highly grandjson and most sedulously cultivated by paassing colonel and his kind. Grandison uses the colonel’s belief that he has a secure knowledge of the behavior and culture of slaves by reconfirming it through “[t]otal subordination, veiled presence, and masked speech”.

Grandison had scarcely left the hotel when a long-haired, sharp-featured man came out passinng him, followed him, soon overtook him, and kept along beside him until they turned the next corner.

As the title announces, the theme of passing is a major issue in the short story, “The Passing of Grandison”. They actually kidnaped him–just think of it!

This was true gratitude, and his feudal heart thrilled at such appreciative homage. Nevertheless, it might be well to state a few preliminary facts to make it clear why young Dick Owens tried to run one of his father’s negro men off to Canada. Retracing his footsteps toward the Falls, he saw, to his great disgust, as he approached the spot where he had left Grandison, the familiar form of his servant stretched out on the ground, his face to the sun, his mouth open, sleeping the time away, oblivious alike to the grandeur of the scenery, the thunderous roar of the cataract, or the insidious voice of sentiment.


The colonel gave Grandison a place as a house servant.

But if you stick close to your young master, and remember always that he is your best friend, and understands your real needs, and has your true interests at heart, and if you will be careful to avoid strangers who try to talk to you, you ‘ll stand a fair chance of getting back to your home and your friends. When he came back a couple of days later and found the faithful Grandison at his post, and the hundred dollars intact, Dick felt seriously annoyed. He was welcomed and celebrated as a loyal slave, as he confirmed Colonel Owens’ positive understanding of slavery.

I don’ pay no ‘tention ter ’em, but dey riles me so sometimes dat I ‘m feared I ‘ll hit some of ’em some er dese days, an’ dat mought git me inter trouble.

His fame spread throughout the county, and the colonel gave him a permanent place among the house servants, where he could always have him conveniently at hand to relate his adventures to admiring visitors.

Young women smiled on him, and young men of convivial habits pressed their hospitalities; but the memory of Charity’s sweet, strong face and clear blue eyes made him proof against the blandishments of the one sex and the persuasions of the other. To achieve freeing one of his father’s slaves, Dick decides to go on a trip north and take his slave Tom along; he is convinced Tom will use any opportunity to escape and Dick will achieve his goal very easily. I strongly suspect him of having learned to read, though I can’t imagine how.

After about three weeks, Grandison and his family his new wife, his parents and his three siblings go missing. But all Dick required, in fact, to prompt him to the most remarkable thing he accomplished before he was twenty-five, was a mere suggestion from Charity Lomax. Dick retraced his footsteps towards the inn. Now, the colonel, while a very indulgent father, had pronounced views on the subject of negroes, having studied them, as he often said, for a great many years, and, as he asserted oftener still, understanding them perfectly.