Analysis On Black No More By George Schuyler
It was published in 1933, Schuyler happened to be a journalist, he died in 1977. The novel is one of the page turner book, because it is a very interesting novel. Schuyler uses a lot of factors in writing his book because of his background as a journalist.
The author happened to be a person who has opposition against the idea of essentialists race. Essentialism is giving a lot of prestige to a particular thing against the other. He defined himself as an antagonist of racial essentialism. He also distances himself from the so called black absolutism. He ridicules the whole idea of race and the pointless politics around it. He has served in United State army as a citizen. He happened to be a journalist who served both white and black magazines. He has served in several capacity in media houses. He has had interview with Malcolm X before. Also, he his familiar with the White world. He married a white woman and understands how capitalism works in which he reflected in his novel. He understands the actual life of the masses which is beyond the ideology of race and racism, the fundamentals of economy and how it works. He makes the idea of racism laughable.
Black No More is an intervention against the inhumane politics of racial discrimination on the one hand and essentialists racial affirmation, which we find in black movement, black political parties, which saw themselves as necessary enemy of the white as a result of the racist activities against them.
Black No More is a satire. A satire is a creative form of writing that uses humor as a way of ridiculing condemnable matters, development, people and institutions that operate within the society.
In George Schuyler’s Black No More, there is so much satire that he uses to ridicule the idea of race and racism. he ridicules the white and the black. He ridicules the whole idea in the novel. He does this by bringing up a character set them against certain issue and ridicules them. He ridicules characters along the line of their intellects, mentality, bodies forms, physical forms. He also ridicules particular development like movement, political parties either white or black to set across his authorial ideology on the need to unimagined race as essential matter within the American society. He does all these to ridicule racism in American Society and he employed the use of caricature to let us laugh at some characters who within the society might have been viewed as hero.
Look at the way he describe Hank Johnson, one of the financier of Dr. Junius Crookman. Hank Johnson becomes a sudden millionaire who is also a member of black political movement, through all kind of crooked activities, yet he belong to a major black political party that was glamoring for Back To Africa Movement. Marcus Garvey is Santo Richoral in the novel.
Given a pastor also involved in shady deals. His aim is to get money. He is a leader of a racist group and start their meeting with Christian prayer and end up with Jesus name, not concerned with racism and engages in a shady deals. . In one of the radio interview he granted, he is referred to as one of the most important personality in the United State and he has risen to the top through graft, Henry Given is an example of a class capitalist who is ready to make money in any way. He didn’t even care about white supremacy thing. Some of the money he got is through black people who are also involved in shady deals as well, people like Hank Johnson, Dr. Crookman, Mr Foster, former Max Disher, a picaro character who changes his name to Mathew Fisher. The Black No More that made him join capitalist to condemn it because he has disguised as a white. In other word, it is the masses that suffer all these racial politics.
In aesthetic deployment, there is a lot of representation of character in form of *Caricature*. They are presented to the public as a good people but the readers know their background.
A caricature is representation of characters in a way that deform anything good you could respect about them. An example of Caricature is where they are talking about the daughter of Henry Givens, Helen. She was beautiful but not quite intelligent. The different description in the novel ridicule majority of the character, for example chapter 6, pg. 105. Also the description of Henry Given didn’t depicts anything near his pastoral thing. Also, the wedding of Helen Given and Mathew Fisher is the description of praising somebody by mocking him. Hank Johnson is described as a gambler. Given is a White man. In other words, everything in Black No More tells us the ridiculousness of race, thinking that the so called people who represented the aspirations of race are very very unquestionable, very very righteous whereas they are not.
Some namings in the book suggests satire. Satire is the umbrella term of the idea of mocking with intention of revealing the secret idea of what we don’t really know and making them to the public but in satire there are so many thing that can go on in it.
We can have the caricature, that there are description of people in the way that make you laugh at them. We also have some allegories that are used in the novel. Some naming patterns that recalled the actual thing that is so named. For example, when we look at the name of Dr. Crookman, it shows that the man must be a crook. And the whole thing about Black No More come from Crookery. We can say that the whole politics from Black No More come is from a disease, called Vitiligo, a kind of white perchement that comes out from the body and then the disease is now being Cosmetological, that is branded under a machine. That people are now queuing for. In order to become white and pay for it.
Allegorical naming and title are common in the novel to enable us see the ridiculing before us like Crookman, a judge is also called Water Brybe (pg101) who also received bribe . to describes the kind of people. We are dealing with within the narrative of black no more.
No single protagonist in Black No More because of somehow within the social space that George Schuyler is dealing with. There are so many people that do so many things that matter eventually to the whole society. George Schuyler make us to understand the complexity in the narrative of race, that give us the opportunity to see the manifestation of absurdity of race from several angles and from several protagonists point of characterization. He make the protagonist of Black No More to be very multiple and plural because as this one is doing is own crooked business, another one is also doing his own. It makes it to give more strength to the satirical nature of the novel. Characterization, the caricature, the allegorical references of naming are intended to make us see the ridiculousness in Black No More.
Another thing we need to also see in black no more is setting but you cannot find it. No single major setting in Black No More, it can be happening in Disney, It happen in Harlem, at a point it happen in Atlanta, it happen in South Carolina, it has multiple setting. The author uses multiple settings so that we will be able to navigate from several angles and to give us a journalistic reportage of events that happen at several places in the United State as his narrative focus. There is multiple spacial characterization that differentiate geographical characterization and this help us to have an overview of race, corruption, capitalist corruption, the fact that within the serious context of money changing hands you can’t say the scientists, court and others are doing something right. This multiple setting has made us to touch several places in the novel as presented. So that we could see several events that intercept racially, economically, legislatively and at the level of society within the member of masses, members of the upper class within United State. We don’t have a particular setting. This is also helpful because George Schuyler uses predominantly a *reportorial narrative techniques*. When you read Black No More, it is like you’re reading from Newspaper as one is reading news.
The narrative technique used is third person omniscient narrative technique. An omniscient person is everywhere, lives everywhere, knows everything, just like simulating God. With all the fragment elements in the novel, it is found out that Black No More succeed as a satirical novel. That interrogate racism and the idea of racial purity.
The diction flow in racy passe, it flows from beginning till the end. The book is a comedy of racial dialogue and when you are dealing with comic, you don’t have any reason to slow the passe. No need to find philosophical thinking in this type of book.
It make use of colloquial,
Slang language, an informal language, street talks, expression that are funny. It makes use of linguistic realism, that the way people speaks in their native way. There is a kind of connection between how the whites and the blacks speak, which give us linguistic realism.
The plot structure is inorganic, there are elements of flashback and foreshadowing. It relies on inorganic narrative arrangement that allow us to see several things. It is highly dramatic. With it structure it shows that things are not always static, things are always response to context. That is why we find out that there can be change of race, dynamicism of American society. No one is righteous among the blacks and whites. It make us see the actual tendency of American society how they can make money through any means.
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