Read The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories by Charles W. Chesnutt Free Online
Book Title: The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories|
The author of the book: Charles W. Chesnutt
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.70 MB
Edition: University of Michigan Press
Date of issue: January 15th 1968
ISBN 13: 9780472061341
Read full description of the books:A fascinating book by a fascinating author. Born in 1858, Charles Chesnutt was born to two "free persons of color," and apparently had at least one grandparent who was a white slave owner. He wrote about the lives of the African-Americans of his time, the newly free and the free born, struggling to find a place in the world.
The title story tells of a man who has established a place among the Blue Veins, a society whose purpose "was to establish and maintain correct social standards among a people whose social condition presented almost unlimited room for improvement. By accident, combined perhaps with some natural affinity, the society consisted of individuals who were, generally speaking, more white than black." The story is both a morality tale about loyalty, and a satire of the pretensions of middle-class African-American society. Something that Chesnutt knew much about; he was a lawyer, owned a prosperous stenography business, and spent his life as a writer, an essayist and a political activist.
The stories in this collection vary; some (like much of the literature of the time) are way too sentimental for our tastes, and some of the characters speak in a dialect that wouldn't be acceptable in today's literature. However, the book is definitely worth reading.
It ends forcefully, with the tale of a prosperous blacksmith who is accused, arrested, and wrongfully convicted of stealing a white man's whip; he is sent away for five year's hard labor, during which time his children are lost to the despair of poverty and his wife finds another man (the one whom, we are led to believe, actually stole the whip), and finally, ragged and bitter, sets out to kill the owner of the whip, whom he sees as the author of his ruined life.
A fascinating glimpse of a portion of American society that was seldom written about, from a man who lived it.
Read information about the authorCharles Waddell Chesnutt was an author, essayist and political activist, best known for his novels and short stories exploring complex issues of racial and social identity.
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