The Myth of the Happy Slave
Kind of Activity:
To stimulate students to reflect further upon some of the racial myths Herman Melville is exploring, and to relate those myths to their own feelings about race.
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3
Throughout most of Benito Cereno, the character of Babo appears as a loyal, devoted, and even happy slave. In this section, it’s finally revealed that this is an elaborate lie.
In this activity, students will read an article about the “fantasy that slaves were happy, loyal, and devoted to those who enslaved them.”...
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