Abstract

“The Porter” brings us close to the nightmare plaguing white America’s collective imagination during the 20th century’s formative years, when white and black collided and racial definition conflated. Hemingway’s piece about a young white boy, his father, and the African-American porter who serves them on an overnight train trip is an exploration of 20th century American race relations. Initially, Hemingway pushes the reader to see the world through the young boy’s eyes, through the bifurcated lens of racial stereotype. But through the black porter’s intervention, the reader comes to recognize that the lens of racial stereotype is imperfect, faulty even, and that notions of white supremacy and the color line are dangerous illusions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-4815
Print ISSN
0276-3362
Pages
pp. 28-45
Launched on MUSE
2010-07-17
Open Access
No
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