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Lecture 18

ENG250Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Key 2

Course Code
Melissa Gniadek

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Lecture 18: Benito Cereno cont.
Monday, November 16, 2015
1:11 PM
Experience of reading the text
1. Where is Delano from?
a. America
2. Where is Benito Cereno from?
a. Spain
2. Sailor tying?
a. Knots
2. Polishing?
a. Hatchets
2. What symbol is associated with Atufal?
a. Chains, lock and key
2. Words below San Dominic figurehead?
a. Follow your leader
2. What happens to Babo?
a. Executed, head on a spike
Story setting up anticipation, mystery
First few pages are tense
Subtle combination of quiet eerie scene, the way the readers move into the
Language of costumes, the tableau
Different between the surface and some type of reality
Sort of told that this is a tableau, costumes involved
Something being hidden
Gothic ship of death imagery reinforces the comfort of what is hidden and what is
or not revealed
Creates image of something eventually being revealed
Reading experience? Suspicious something was wrong?
Delano comments on ratio of slaves to sailors
Benito Cereno's characterization
Barber scene
The tone from the beginning
Aranda when Cereno fainted
When slave hits white person and Delano asks about it, Cereno goes around it
Don’t know what you're detecting, not sure what you're looking for
Issue of power in comparison to Atufal
Clues are there, text doesn't tell us exclusively
Pg. 1369: Barber scene
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Image of Babo holding razor to throat
Headlessness is all about power, associated with revolution
Tense violence, but also violence that is about insurection, Kings in revolutions
become beheaded
Woven into this scene
Further complicated by the kind of expected comfortable nature of this scene
oDelano's experience of it
5. Third person limited
Primary perspective
Focused through Delano
Almost as if we're looking over his shoulder
Like we're in his head, going back and forth
Legal deposition in the conclusion, not limited more general
Pieced together from different sources
How this story withholds information for so long, through the narrator perspective
With Delano, seeing it through his eyes even though it's not in first person
Related to beginning of barber scene
7. What does Delano fail to see? Why? What does he see instead?
Delano is bringing expectations, prejudices, cultural expectations into the story
There's order here for Delano in this situation, disturbing scene
"This is how things are"
Delano animalizes them
"Doe", "nature"
Explicit derogatory comparison being made, yet orderly
This is how it's supposed to be
A natural scene of maternal affection for Delano
Delano is bringing cultural prejudice with him
He is up here, explicit image of the underlying violence and potential violence yet
focuses on the mother and her fawn
Language is carefully crafted to carry a reader through this story through
Delano's point of view
One of the reasons we fail to see, we have a character making things "okay"
seeing a scene and interpreting it in a way he expects to find things
How was this read when published? (look at this in a bit)
Readers are drawn into back and forth questioning
Long paragraphs where we're almost in his head
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