Themes

Racism and injustice

The short story “The Lynching of Jube Benson” by Paul Laurence Dunbar explores the theme of racism and injustice. Because of Dr. Melville and the others’ racism, Jube Benson becomes a victim of injustice. 

The theme of racism is illustrated in several ways in the story. Dr. Melville unconsciously focuses on the differences between whites and blacks by comparing Jube Benson to an animal, which shows that, in his eyes, black people are instinctual beings instead of human. Moreover, the racism against the blacks is a matter of education, as Dr. Melville himself confirms:

I saw his black face glooming there in the half light, and I could only think of him as a monster. It’s tradition. At first I was told that the black man would catch me, and when ...

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