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Depiction Of Local Color In The Fiction Of Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page And Kate Chopin

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Thomas Nelson Page, Bret Harte and Kate Chopin used local color in their stories through the presentation of the features and peculiarities of a particular locality and its inhabitants in writing and the usage of it makes their stories more interesting and exciting for the readers.

Thomas Nelson Page was an American novelist who excel in the themes of slavery and racism. His works behooves any race-realist today who reads him and understands him. The story took place during the Civil War and it was speculated that if Lincoln became the president, he will put an end to slavery, “If he is elected, it means the end of slavery.” The Red Rock also reflects the local color through the description of locality as has been described in the very beginning of this book: “THE old Gray plantation, Red Rock, lay at the highest part of the rich rolling country, before it rose too abruptly in the wooded foothills of the blue mountains away to the westward.” This description gives us a clear picture of the area where the story happened.

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Bret Harte is another author who vividly used the elements of local color in his works, such as Yellow Dog. In my point of view, the general idea of the story is the discrimination of people on the hands of other people’s greed, where he takes a yellow dos as a representative of victims in the Old West mines of America. The author. In several parts of the story he precisely illustrates the stereotype and shows a rude attitude of the community towards a yellow dog, as it can be seen in a citation from his story, “Men who habitually spoke of a “YELLOW bird,” a “YELLOW-hammer,” a “YELLOW leaf,” always alluded to him as a “YALLER dog.”

The final author Kate Chopin in her work illustrates racism and slavery. The main hero is a Desiree and her husband Armand, who disowned their baby after realizing that their baby’s skin color is dark. This shows the rudimentary ideology of the French settlers. But once when Armand gets to know that his mother was black he was devastated and he had already done the biggest mistake of his life, and he is not able to change it. And here is the letter of Armand’s mother which shows him his reality, ‘Night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.’

To sum up, we can say that Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page and Kate Chopin in their books have presented the local color in an admirable way. They have used the elements of local color such us dialect, manners, description of the landscape, believes and much more for making their story clearer, understandable and authentic for the readers.

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Depiction Of Local Color In The Fiction Of Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page And Kate Chopin. (2021, September 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from
“Depiction Of Local Color In The Fiction Of Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page And Kate Chopin.” Edubirdie, 28 Sept. 2021,
Depiction Of Local Color In The Fiction Of Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page And Kate Chopin. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Jun. 2023].
Depiction Of Local Color In The Fiction Of Bret Harte, Thomas Nelson Page And Kate Chopin [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 28 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from:
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