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The Use of Grey in Book and Film

             It's a million gray areas " as famous English film director and producer Ridley Scott once said. Ridley Scott uses color to portray images in his works, similarly to how author Herman Melville employs the color grey in Benito Cereno to show the uncertainty and unclearness throughout Benito Cereno. Herman Melville begins Benito Cereno by describing the setting with everything shrouded under the color of gray which prevents the characters in the story from seeing the truth. The color grey is a prevalent symbol throughout the novella. Greyness when used in Benito Cereno represents the uncertainty in human nature. The climate of grayness in Benito Cereno foreshadows an undercurrent of danger and a warning of threats ahead. The battle between the whites and blacks leave a dull gray tone throughout the story that portrays the fight between colors that is not easily resolved. The color grey used by Melville foreshadows the uncertainty between blacks and whites, which causes the traditional standards of race and social hierarchy to be questioned. Furthermore, the color grey masks the truth from Delano. Melville uses the color grey to illustrate that one should evaluate their stance on the subject of slavery. Slavery was a very controversial topic prior to the civil war when this novella was published. Melville's writing examines the grounds of slavery through the readers questioning of race relations. Throughout the novella Melville attempts to contest ones stance on slavery and force one to see the anti-slavery point of view.
             Gray is a color located somewhere between the ranges of black and white. Gray blankets the environment on the ship and its surroundings to lead one to foreshadow the impending doom and the boding evil that lies ahead. The gray landscape sets the stage to show the tensions between the black slaves and the whites. Delano turns a blind eye to the slave mutiny on the ship and follows the master and slave relationship where the traditionally the white man has power over the black man.

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