What is the setting of The House Behind the Cedars?

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jcross373 | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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The novel The House Behind the Cedars is a wonderful book written by Charles W. Chesnutt. The story takes place right after the U.S. Civil War in North Carolina and South Carolina. The story starts out by focusing on John Warwick who resides in a town in South Carolina. Warwick's attention switches over to another character in the novel who's name is Rena. Warwick is very intrigued by Rena and begins to follow her to the house located behind the cedars. Both John and Rena are African American siblings, but John later changed his name to Warwick and married into a white southern family. He portrays himself to be a white man who lives in Clarence, South Carolina. After the death of his wife, Mr. Warwick returns to his roots in Patesville.

I would highly recommend reading this novel. It is a wonderful portrayal of life in the South after the Civil War. Despite any progress that had been made in the South post-Civil War, race relations were still strenuous. It is important to note the number of people who try to pass as white in order to achieve success in a white society.

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