Herman Melville’s “Benito Cerrano”

The conclusion of “Benito Cereno” focuses on the details of the lynching, decapitation, and public display in the grand plaza of Lima of Babo’s head.

In addition, Melville tells us of how Capt. Delano’s crew overpowered the mutineers/slaves and killed many of them. He also says that shortly after, Cereno died and that, ironically, he did “follow his leader.”

What is Melville’s “message” in this conclusion?

What is Melville telling us about the racial attitudes and beliefs of men like Capt. Delano?

Why does the story end with such brutality? *What emotions did the conclusion raise as you read the story?

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