To analyze Benito cerreno,you will want to think about why the eponymous hero "follows his leader'" or what cause his physical and mental decline. do you think that his experience as babo's captive makes him realize how dehumanizing slavery is, or is he mourning the death of his comrades and the loss of his illusion of superiority over the negroes? in the other words, does his identification with the slaves or with the spanish colonizers lead to his breakdown?
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These are huge questions, and there have been quite a few opinions on the issue. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that Melville did not publish much regarding his opinion of racist tension between Africans and Europeans. I would say that Captain Delano's decline represents the terrible power of racism--so much so that any convenient line between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" is difficult to draw. There is a sense in which it brings everyone down.