The wife of his youth full text. The Wife of his Youth by Charles W. Chesnutt 2022-10-19
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The Wife of His Youth is a short story written by Charles W. Chesnutt that tells the story of Mr. Ryder, a man who is a member of a social club called the "Blue Veins." The Blue Veins were a group of light-skinned African Americans who believed that they were superior to those with darker skin.
Mr. Ryder is a successful lawyer and is considered one of the leaders of the Blue Veins. However, despite his status and wealth, he is unhappy in his marriage to a woman who he no longer loves. One day, while at the club, Mr. Ryder meets a woman named Liza Jane, who he recognizes as his former love from his youth.
Liza Jane is now an older, poorer woman who has lived a difficult life. Mr. Ryder is immediately drawn to her and is filled with nostalgia for the love that they once shared. He begins to visit Liza Jane frequently and helps her financially.
As Mr. Ryder spends more time with Liza Jane, he begins to question the values and beliefs of the Blue Veins and the society in which he lives. He realizes that he has been living a shallow and meaningless life, and that his love for Liza Jane is the only thing that gives his life purpose.
In the end, Mr. Ryder makes the difficult decision to leave his wife and social status behind in order to be with Liza Jane. He recognizes that true love and happiness are more important than anything else, and he is willing to give up everything in order to be with the woman he truly loves.
The Wife of His Youth is a powerful and thought-provoking story that explores themes of love, identity, and the importance of staying true to oneself. It is a reminder that true happiness and fulfillment can only be found by following our hearts and being true to who we are.
The Wife of His Youth by Charles Chesnutt Plot Summary
They did not love your father, and did not wish him to marry your mother. He came back in a moment, leading by the hand his visitor of the afternoon, who stood startled and trembling at the sudden plunge into this scene of brilliant gayety. They helped to drive him to his death. If I had known my people and lost them, I should be sad. Molly Dixon visited Groveland had any woman ever made him wish to change his condition to that of a married man.
The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, and Selected Essays
When the preliminaries of the lynching had been arranged, and a committee appointed to manage the affair, the crowd dispersed, some to go to their dinners, and some to secure recruits for the lynching party. Removing several wrappers, she brought to light an old-fashioned daguerreotype in a black case. Quick as thought, with the instinct born of a semi-guerrilla army experience, he raised his gun and fired twice at the point from which a faint puff of smoke showed the hostile bullet to have been sent. I was that child. He had a theory of his own. But it is a serious matter; it is a dreadful thing to have no name.
The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line : Charles Waddell Chesnutt : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
A moment after the last of the lynching party had disappeared there was a shot fired from the woods across the road; a bullet whistled by the window and buried itself in the wooden casing a few inches from where the sheriff was standing. The woman was of the indefinite age between forty and fifty. His ball must be worthy of the lady in whose honor it was to be given, and must, by the quality of its guests, set an example for the future. Sam worked in de fiel', an' I wuz de cook. W'en I wuz young I us'ter b'long ter Marse Bob Smif, down in ole Missoura. The first man that tries it will be filled with buckshot. He had no special fears about the outcome, but, with a little touch of romance, he wanted the surroundings to be in harmony with his own feelings when he should have received the answer he expected.
This was the substance of the old woman's story. A cold perspiration had gathered on his forehead, and his teeth were chattering with affright. History is full of examples, but has recorded none more striking than one which only to-day came under my notice. His features were of a refined type, his hair was almost straight; he was always neatly dressed; his manners were irreproachable, and his morals above suspicion. Filling the chambers of a revolver with fresh cartridges, he slipped it into the pocket of the sack-coat which he wore. She knew that several of the more fashionable dancing-schools tabooed all pupils, singly or in classes, who labored under social disabilities—and this included the people of at least one other race who were vastly farther along in the world than the colored people of the community where Miss Hohlfelder lived.
I will presume that he was one who loved honor, and tried to deal justly with all men. His views were not popular, and he sold out his lands a year before the war, with the intention of moving to Europe. At eight o'clock the ballroom was a blare of light and the guests had begun to assemble; for there was a literary programme and some routine business of the society to be gone through with before the dancing. Permit me to introduce to you this wife of my youth. Their withdrawal might be a mere feint, to be followed by a further attempt.
The wife of his youth, and other stories of the color line; : Chesnutt, Charles Waddell, 1858
We met each other, at first only now and then, and afterwards oftener; and six months ago he told me that he loved me. She was whiter than he, and better educated. Ryder's voice that stirred the hearts of those who sat around him. Yielding at last to the force of circumstances, he had entered the Confederate service rather late in the war, and served with distinction through several campaigns, rising in time to the rank of colonel. The other stories deal mainly with Southern life and character, and, without being particularly strong, are readable. So he ran over the leaves until his eye rested on the description of Queen Guinevere:---- "She seem'd a part of joyous Spring; A gown of grass-green silk she wore, Buckled with golden clasps before; A light-green tuft of plumes she bore Closed in a golden ring. Mebbe he 's done better sence he run erway, but I ain' 'spectin' much.
The wife of his youth, and other stories of the color line : Chesnutt, Charles W. (Charles Waddell), 1858
But he had made up his mind, and had only to determine the time when he would ask her to be his wife. It is the era from which all local chronicles are dated,—births, deaths, marriages, storms, freshets. He had come to Groveland a young man, and obtaining employment in the office of a railroad company as messenger had in time worked himself up to the position of stationery clerk, having charge of the distribution of the office supplies for the whole company. They had not however come prepared to fight a battle, and no one of them seemed willing to lead an attack upon the jail. It is the answer I expected, for I knew your hearts.
But tell me your story, and it may refresh my memory. The Branson County jail was a small, two-story brick building, strongly constructed, with no attempt at architectural ornamentation. He promised that he would return someday to free her. He had come to Groveland a young man, and obtaining employment in the office of a railroad company as messenger had in time worked himself up to the position of stationery clerk, having charge of the distribution of the office supplies for the whole company. She looked like a bit of the old plantation life, summoned from the past by the wave of a magician's wand, as the poet's fancy had called into being the gracious shapes of which Mr.
The paper wrapper of the packet bore an inscription that awakened my curiosity. Our good host has been trying to live alone, but the fair faces I see around me to-night prove that he too is largely dependent upon the gentler sex for most that makes life worth living,—the society and love of friends,—and rumor is at fault if he does not soon yield entire subjection to one of them. He had no special fears about the outcome, but, with a little touch of romance, he wanted the surroundings to be in harmony with his own feelings when he should have received the answer he expected. Sam was free-born, but he was an orphan and was apprenticed to work on the same plantation where Eliza Jane was enslaved. She had listened, with parted lips and streaming eyes. He rose from his chair and came over to where she stood.
Her husband had been a government clerk, and at his death had left a considerable life insurance. Her voice was shrill and piping, but softened somewhat by age. When I think about it seriously I do not care particularly for such a life. Ryder was one of the most conservative. Suppose, too, that he made his way to the North, as some of us have done, and there, where he had larger opportunities, had improved them, and had in the course of all these years grown to be as different from the ignorant boy who ran away from fear of slavery as the day is from the night.