Monday, 28 December 2009

The Sheriff's Son by Charles W. Chesnutt - A critical overview by Ziham Zawawi

The Sheriff’s Son by Charles W. Chesnutt is one of the famous American Short Stories. I found this short story in a book entitled, Charles W. Chesnutt: Great American Short Stories 1 which I found in my collage’s library. Charles W. Chesnutt managed to write a good story based on American country-side story in 19th late century. He has successfully captured the reality of stereotypical of American traditional issues in a very interesting way. Among the issues that I can see he managed to cover in this short story successfully are apartheid, father and son’s conflict, and the integrity of government officer on doing their duty. The way he covers the entire issues make me want to continue my reading until the end.

I really love the way he describe the characters in this story. He describes Tom as a light-skinned Negro man who was suspected as the murder of Captain Walker. He also spice up the story with the conflict between the lynchers who really angry with Captain Walker murder case and want to take revenge by killing the murder badly. On the other hand, as the sheriff on Branson County, Sheriff Campbell defending the murder because he thinks that we someone is not guilty before it is proven that he or she is guilty. This is what I like about Sheriff Campbell because he practice integrity on doing his duty and very responsible towards his people and his family.

This story contains a lot of moral values that we can make use in our daily life. Chesnutt successfully includes the awareness of being a very responsible person towards its own world. From this story, we also can see that we are all the same. Even though our skin colour is not the same, we are all people we live in this planet and have the right to defend ourselves if we are not guilty. This is what Chesnutt done towards Sheriff Campbell; he described Campbell as a very fair leader.

As the conclusion, I really love this story because the issues that colouring the story is very interesting and genuine. We rarely can find the same story like this that brings the true reality issues other than “The Root". So I can say that Chesnutt is born to be a very good writer, this story is a very good story and I enjoy reading this story. That’s all thank you.

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