Charles W Chestnutt

453 Words2 Pages
In “The Wife of His Youth” by Charles W. Chesnutt, there were many stereotypical views on race and gender in the lives of Mr. Ryder and Eliza Jane. In the nineteenth century, every man’s goal was to be successful and the “breadwinner” of the family. However, not every man had the chance to start out big, for Mr. Ryder, he started as Sam Taylor. Sam Taylor was a freeborn slave, where he worked in a plantation as an apprentice and had no source of education. Eventually, the plantation owner wanted to sell him for more money as a slave, but Sam Taylor didn’t want to live the life of a slave. Therefore, he fled the plantation and leaving a slave marriage with Eliza Jane for a better life. Sam Taylor than educated himself slowly, improved his image and changed his name as Mr. Ryder. Mr. Ryder was portrayed a very wealthy man, a freeborn, highly educated man, etc. He was like every woman’s dream of a successful man to be. Mr. Ryder had most of the traits of a man like masculinity and leadership. However, what stopped him from being equal in society was the color of his skin, even though he was a light-colored African American. The only way to be equal in society; he joined an organization called “The Blue Veins” that was exclusively for light toned members and of wealth. However, Mr. Ryder had faced a racial dilemma for choosing the woman he wanted to marry. In order to feel like he would be accepted in society, he proposed a story in a ball which was based unknowingly about his life to the members of his society. He wanted to see if his members were racist against the fact that the individual, was to be happily with the colored woman. However, the close members of his society agreed to Mr. Ryder that “he should acknowledge her.” As Mr. Ryder, he felt that he had more choices in his life because he was the dean of “The Blue Veins” society and was wealthy.
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