Decentering the Racial Paradigm: A Literary Analysis of the "Stubb's Supper" Chapter in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrew M. Pisano (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Hephzibah Roskelly

Abstract: This purpose of this thesis is to examine the way in which Herman Melville utilizes the minstrel stereotype not as tool subjugation, but as a means of empowerment and marker of identity in the "Stubb's Supper" chapter of Moby-Dick. By first contextualizing the cultural and political environment of 1850-51, the year of Moby-Dick's composition, an analysis is constructed in order to take into account the effects of personal, familial, political, philosophical, and cultural factors on Melville's construction of race. An examination of Melville's familial and personal ties to the recently enforced Fugitive Slave Law in Boston is considered in order to suggest a series of powerful influences were effecting Melville during Moby-Dick's composition. In addition, philosophical and historical studies are conducted in order to further contextualize and strengthen a close reading of "Stubb's Supper."

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
American literature, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, "Stubb's Supper" chapter, race stereotypes
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. $t Moby Dick.
Stereotypes (Social psychology) in literature.
Race relations in literature.

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