Free Essay on The Goophered Grapevine and The Wonderful Tar Baby by Charles Waddell

Published: 2023-01-22
Free Essay on The Goophered Grapevine and The Wonderful Tar Baby by Charles Waddell
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 928 words
8 min read

Charles Waddell narrates his story in the Goophered Grapevine in such a way to arrest the reader's attention at the wonder of how he puts his plot. He gives a narration of a farmer who in the quest of his adventure came across the plantation, which was considered bewitched. On the other hand, in his collection, Joel Harris gives a charming story of how the fox outwits the rabbit. These two stories have a lot in similar and also possess differences. In this article, I will dissect how these writers bring out their work and how their different origins affect how they use dialect in their writing (Harris, 1880).

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In the Goophered Grapevine, Waddell shows in the arrival of the white man and his wife to the plantation. Meeting a longtime slave eating the grapes in the farm marks a crucial phase in the life of Julius, the slave. During this phase, the writer puts out his ideas in such a way they portray the authority the slave has over the visitors. The newcomers have no clue about the farm is, but when informed the story about how the Grapevine is somehow bewitched they shy off. Being in a position to discourage the potential buyers from buying the plantation shows the people who were considered to be of the lower class and little value end up advising the native. The use of the old age of Julius gives the reader the idea of how the long-endured custom of slavery was finally being overtaken by the wisdom gained.

Similarly, this approach of using figurative figures is in Chandler's the Wonderful Tar Baby. Chandler uses the 'Tar Baby' being black, the clothing of the baby is to give an impression of the black days of slavery and control bias on color. In connection, the rabbit portrays the white, which acts arrogantly towards the baby. On trying to abuse the tar baby physically, the rabbit is stuck, and the fox finds him there struggling. The individual who was initially in power and gave all the orders is now embarrassed by the wittiness of the neglected. While in the car, the offensive language used by the rabbit is used to show the view of being black and under the rule of the white and how it affects the local (Harris, 1880).

Similarly, these two writers agree on the fact that in some way, the once rejected have found a way of controlling the abusive power. The use of symbolic speech allows the imaginations of the reader to wonder and come to their conclusions. They agree that the superiority of the white rule began with the end of the slavery period. The power gained by the black minority is shown when in the story within a story by Waddell; the woman who is responsible for the trapping of the thieves who take advantage of the farm produce is black. She cast her spells using magic she gained from her black heritage.

However, the two texts differ in that, while Waddell uses human characters to give his account while his counterpart Chandler is giving his based-on folklore. These two approaches provide each text with their unique abilities, which they use in various ways. The administration of white dominance gives way to the development of the slave who sees his opportunity and grabs it. While on the other hand, the characters are manipulated to achieve the end goal and the ability to make decisions which lead them to suffer (Chesnutt, 1996).

Both texts use the local dialect while giving their narrations. In the Goophered Grapevine, by Charles Waddell, the title begins with a word derived from the vernacular of the writer. This ability to manipulate the language is affected by the origin of the writer. The style significantly impacted by the post-slavery period as the writer is associated with how people use to communicate. Likewise, Chandlers' work is under heavy influence by his native language, which he includes to his text. The folklore is from his community, and this gives an account of how it passes to him.

By comparison, the two writers also employ the use of telling a story within a story. In the first instance, Julius narrates the story of how the Grapevine came to its state. The narration develops another story inside the story of the travelling from the North to look for a place where they could purchase a plantation which opens more opportunities for them. This method is also the case in the story by Chandler; Uncle Remus gives the narration of the Tar Baby who is then the major part of the story (Chesnutt, 1996).


In conclusion, both writers employ diverse ways to deal with their presentation. They can capture the reader's attention by ensuring that their work is unique in its approach and that they have a clear plot. The stories give us the importance of the writers' origin as this affect how they put forward their work. The use of local dialect is from the writers' language and what they mean to the local. In the presentation of ideas, the writer's approach is affected by the way they are socialized in that; they have a specific view of society while they develop their plot. For instance, the use of old Julius to be the advisor of the white couple is most likely the result of how this writer associates with others during his growth.


Chesnutt, C. W. (1996). The Goophered Grapevine. University of Virginia Library.

Harris, J. C. (1880). The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story. The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus, 6-8.

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