Herman Melville's Benito Cereno

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In 1855, Herman Melville published his short novel Benito Cereno. The novel was based in part on true events. Melville referenced the memoir of the real Captain Amasa Delano and his ship, the Perseverance, encounter with the Spanish vessel Tryal in 1805. In his novel, Melville depicts Delano as the protagonist and follows his ships encounter with a Spanish vessel where the slaves have overthrown the Spanish sailors. The protagonist Captain Amasa Delano closely embodies the ideals that not only John Winthrop illustrates in his 1630 sermon, “A Model of Christian Charity,” but Benjamin Franklin describes in his 1784 essay, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.” He hails from the city of Duxbury in Massachusetts and in 1799 he sets…show more content…
Every act of kindness and sharing should be done with the same care as they would want to be treated. Captain Delano does not give the San Dominick left over supplies from his ship; he gives them soft bread, fresh water and cider from his own personal store. He treats them with the same respect he would want his own crew to be treated if they ever find themselves in a similar situation. The Christian duty to share with those in need not only reflects John Winthrop’s sermon to the Puritans but the Bible itself. In Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44 and again in John 6:1-14, Jesus feeds upwards of 5,000 men, women and children with just a couple loaves of bread and a few fish. Melville’s use of the soft brad and fish Captain Delano shares is again reminding the readers of their Christian duty to help others in…show more content…
Franklin believes to succeed, America only needs young men who are able to work and apply themselves to the land to journey to America. According to Franklin, only those who are willing to work and strive for a better life should come to America as there is no need for those who subscribe to the European system of inheritance to come. In American there is the opportunity to better one’s self and rise within the hierarchy “which Europe does not afford” (Franklin 465). Don Benito became captain of the San Dominick through the European practice of inheritance Franklin references. The Benito name is linked to “supercargoes and sea captain trading along the Spanish Man, as belonging to one of the most enterprising and extensive mercantile families in all those provinces; several members of it having titles” (Melville 54). Whereas, Captain Delano earned his title of Captain, Benito became Captain because of his name and family. Benito did no hard labor to earn the respect of his men as Delano did. Captain Amasa Delano is a self made man. He started from the bottom and has worked his way to become the Captain of the Bachelor’s Delight. He earned the respect of his men and the command of his ship. He keeps a well organized and clean ship with when observed by others will increase their good opinion

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