Unformatted text preview: The characterizations carry much of the weight of Melville's themes. Critics have pondered the most puzzling of the three major characters. How does the discovery of consummate evil aboard the San Dominick affect Amasa Delano, the innocent of the triad? A good-hearted and earnest optimist, the captain cannot let himself dwell on the implications of doom that permeate the air. Set against the tempo of his vivacity are the fey languor and intermittent paroxysms of Don Benito, a failing grandee who appears to depend on the support of a body servant. Thus Melville establishes the energetic, unfailingly altruistic American as a foil of the Spaniard, who represents the dying vigor of the Old World. His point of view obscured by flagrant racial mythology about the natural propensities of black servants, Captain Delano represents the naivete of the New World, which, in 1799, had yet to face its...
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.
- Fall '09