EN206 The Wife of His Youth by Charles W Chesnutt Literary Criticism please see the file for the essay and see the comment from the instructor Thanks Name:

EN206 The Wife of His Youth by Charles W Chesnutt Literary Criticism please see the file for the essay and see the comment from the instructor Thanks Name: Abdullah Alhazmi
Professor: Dr. Donna Griggs
Course: En-206 American Literature II
Date: 3/20/2019
American Literature
Literary criticism refers to the tasks and art that experts use to judge a given piece of
work. Literary criticism seeks to critically analyze and evaluate a given piece of literature with
the aim of gathering information about the intended meaning and the writing techniques that the
author employed. This paper addresses the piece of art presented by Charles W. Chesnutt, one of
the most famous writers and authors. The primary aim of the article revolves around the
determination of the context of the piece of literature in the background while at the same time
evaluating the use of literary techniques and tools to create the ultimate meaning. In addition to
that, this paper seeks to analyze the primary flow of the selected text with the aim of identifying
some of the concepts that relate to feminism criticism. From another perspective, the paper will
seek to evaluate the ideas that the author presents through the lens of critical as well as literary
analysis concepts. As mentioned, this paper looks at the work performed by Charles W.
Chesnutt, an American author who wrote different pieces of art and literature. The composition
of art to consider in this case includes “The Wife of His Youth” which he published in 1898. The
author created not only this piece of work but a wide range of literature stories which presented
diverse ideas and principles (Chesnutt). The author uses women as the ultimate way of helping to
create the ultimate platform for understanding the cultural background of the population despite
the efforts that some may try to implement to escape their past. The role and position of women
in the American society within the context of the story presented in this case remains
undermined which shows the increased gap between males and females not only from the ancient
culture but also the current one.
Summary of the work
The given piece of art revolves around a story that offers a narrative of the life of a
biracial male living in the US after the end of Civil War who is searching for the best way to
become white. Mr. Ryder in the story created a society comprised of people who would easily
associate and pass as whites although they are biracial. Ryder seeks to find a woman to marry.
Mr. Ryder encounters a fairly white woman named Molly Dixon whom he decides to marry.
Ryder had a wide range of women to choose from but chose Molly as his wife because of her
skin color. Mr. Ryder aspires to marry Molly during the following Blue Vein ball event. As the
leader, Ryder would get a chance to introduce his wife to the congregation. Since Molly is white,
Ryder finds it easy to accommodate her into the Blue Vein Society.
However, things take a different turn when Ryder encounters a dark lady who in this case
claims to be looking for her husband. The lady explains that she got married when she was a
slave and for 25 years, her husband whom she helped to escape slavery. Liza Jane reveals that
she helped her husband to escape when the family that she worked for tried to sell him as a slave.
Liza claims that her husband has been gone for 25 years and identifies him as Sam Taylor
(Chesnutt). Liza leaves after showing Ryder the picture of the lost husband. Ryder gives Jane`s
story during the speech seeking the approval of the audience to introduce the lost husband. At
this moment, Ryder introduces himself as the missing husband.
Summary of the theory
Through the lens of feminist criticism, the author provides the tension between males and
females within the community (Rosenfelt and Newton). In this case, the concepts of the theory
revolve around the presentation of the imagery of both the females and males. In this story, the
author presents women and male representation differently which creates the ultimate tension.
Looking further into the account, the author offers a platform for comparing the presentation and
treatment of women and men in the community. Besides, some of the most common aspects that
support this theory include the diminishing and pushing down of the female imagery while
uplifting the male description. As the next section will show, the author successfully indicates
the role and position of the women in the community based on the notion that the women
imagery finally manages to burst free and thus acting as the ultimate platform for reminding the
population of its past and backgrounds (Ryden).
Supporting evidence
As mentioned, the author uses diverse aspects to show the presence of the tension
between female and male imagery. For instance, the author portrays the male representation as a
superior gender in the context as explained by Mr. Ryder. Although he was born as a biracial, he
quickly passes as a white. In addition to that, Mr. Ryder has the power to make decisions on the
options that he desires to take sidelining his cultural background by associating with the whites.
From another perspective, the author portrays the female imagery as a weakened entity within
the community. At first, Mr. Ryder fails to acknowledge to Liza that he is the husband whom she
was looking. Mr. Ryder had already selected another woman to marry because of her color and
his superiority. The story shows that Mr. Ryder had a lot of choices to make when choosing a
woman to marry showing his advantage and that of the male imagery in the community.
Eventually, the author presents the female description as a victorious entity in symbolizing a
representation of the past (Tunc). Liza, in this case, reminds Mr. Ryder of his actual cultural
background thus maintaining the tension between the success and position of female and male
imagery within the community.
Summing up, the story analyzed, in this case, shows how the author represents the
tension between the female and male imagery in the community. The story exposes the concept
of male dominance in literature. In this case, the author presents Mr. Ryder as a superior figure
within the text while weakening the power of the females such as Liza and Molly. Through this
analysis, one can conclude that feminist criticism, in this case, shows the role and position that
each of the gender imagery stands out within the story thus satisfying the previously created
Works cited
Chesnutt, Charles W. The wife of his youth and other stories of the color line. Charles River
Editors via PublishDrive, 2018.
Ryden, Wendy. “The “Problem” of ‘Liza Jane in Charles Chesnutt’s THE WIFE OF HIS
YOUTH.” The Explicator 71.3 (2013): 180-183.
Chesnutt, Charles Waddell. The Wife of His Youth. University of Virginia Library, 1996.
Tunc, Tanfer Emin. “The De (con) struction of Black/White Binaries: Critiques of Passing in
Charles Waddell Chesnutt’s” The Wife of His Youth” and Other Stories of the Color
Line.” Callaloo 37.3 (2014): 676-691.
Rosenfelt, Deborah, and Judith Newton. Feminist Criticism and Social Change (RLE Feminist
Theory): Sex, class, and race in literature and culture. Routledge, 2013.
Literary Criticism
For this assignment, you will choose a work that we have read and analyze it in relation
to a specific type of literary criticism. Because formalism is used for the first essay, you
may not use formalist or New Criticism. Other options include Feminist Criticism,
Marxist Criticism, or any of the other types of literary criticism mentioned in the course
My topic is about :
“The Wife of His Youth”
Length: 3 to 5 pages, MLA, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins, double
Resources needed: At least 3 sources. One will be the work; one will be a reference to
the critical theory. The additional sources will support your connection of the work and
the theory. They must be scholarly.
Structure: following the suggested format will organize the essay.
Introduction: provides the name of the work, author, and theory with a thesis at the end
the provides an opinion about the work in relation to the theory and an overview of how
that opinion will be supported.
Body paragraphs:
• Summary of the work
• Summary of the theory
• Evidence to support your claim about the work in relation to the theory
Literary Analysis
Literary Analysis
This criterion is linked to a
Learning OutcomeAnalysis and
Exhibits a valid and in-depth
understanding of the topic,
audience, and purpose of writing
task. Will offer clear, explicit,
and insightful interpretations of
text with analysis that is
20.0 pts
0.0 pts
20.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a
Learning OutcomeDevelopment
Exhibits fully and clearly
developed ideas while
integrating and elaborating fully
on correctly cited textual
20.0 pts
0.0 pts
20.0 pts
20.0 pts
0.0 pts
20.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a
Learning OutcomeOrganization
Effectively establishes and
maintains consistent focus on a
clear and compelling thesis.
Exhibits logical and coherent
structure with claims, evidence,
and interpretations that
convincingly support thesis.
Make effective use of transition
words and phrases.
Literary Analysis
This criterion is linked to a
Learning OutcomeLanguage
Uses language that is fluent and
original, with a clear awareness
of audience and purpose. Word
choice allows for a concise and
clear message. Varied sentence
patterns reveal an awareness of
different syntactic structures and
enhances the message of the
This criterion is linked to a
Learning OutcomeConventions
Demonstrates consistent control
of format and conventions with
few errors and no errors that
disrupt meaning. An almost
flawless paper.
Total Points: 100.0
20.0 pts
0.0 pts
20.0 pts
20.0 pts
0.0 pts
20.0 pts

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