The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction

By Maxine Lavon Montgomery | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1 Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition

Go down, Moses, 'Way down in
Egypt land, Tell ole Pharaoh,
To let my people go
.

Negro Spiritual

In writing his second novel, The Marrow of Tradition, Chesnutt fictionalizes the political agitation leading to the historic 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, race riot, relying heavily upon folkloric accounts detailing the exploits of the badman hero. Josh Green emerges during the novel's climactic scene as a heroic figure whose vendetta against powerful whiles signals the failure of the New South to usher in an era of racial harmony and cooperation. Nevertheless, Chesnutt's optimism concerning the possibilities for positive social and political change prompts his moderate race stance. He moves away from the apocalyptic end that the riot implies and presents an idealistic portrait of lift in the region.


Fictionalizing the Badman Hero Tale

Charles Chesnutt The Marrow of Tradition, one of the earliest apocalyptic novels in the African-American tradition, is a careful rewriting of the political tensions leading to the 1898 Wilmington race riot. That the author turns attention to the folklore of the region he knew so well in crafting the novel is not surprising. It was his skill at subjecting this material to the requisites of fictional discourse that brought him wide critical acclaim with the publication of The Conjure Woman The venerable Uncle Julius McAdoo is a wily former slave grounded in the storytelling tradition important to the life and culture of the rural South. As he weaves his stories of magic, superstition, and mysticism for a white northern businessman and his wife, he

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 Charles Chesnutt, the Marrow of Tradition 15
  • Chapter 2- Richard Wright, Native Son 28
  • Chapter 3 Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man 40
  • Chapter 4 James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain 52
  • Chapter 5- Leroi Jones [imamu Amiri Baraka], The System of Dante's Hell 64
  • Chapter 6 Toni Morrison, Sula 74
  • Chapter 7 Gloria Naylor, the Women of Brewster Place 88
  • Notes 103
  • Bibliography 107
  • Index 111
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 118

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.