The Goophered Grapevine Quotes
by Charles Waddell Chesnutt

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Quotes

The narrator describes the old plantation property as tremendously desirable, from a business perspective. He says,

The site was admirably adapted to grape-raising; the soil, with a little attention, could not have been better; and with the native grape, the luscious scuppernong, mainly to rely upon, I felt sure that I could introduce and cultivate successfully a number of other varieties.

The Yankee is clearly very practical. He is respectful of Julius McAdoo and his fascinating story of "goophering," but the story makes no real impact whatsoever on the narrator himself. The narrator also seems like a pretty good judge of character, as he realizes that the entire story might be completely made up, since Julius absolutely has a motive for wanting to keep people away from the grapes that he now enjoys so freely. It's an incredibly creative story, and one that almost seems to convince the narrator's wife, Annie, though, he says,

I bought the vineyard, nevertheless and it has been for a long time in a thriving condition, and is referred to by the local press as a striking illustration of the opportunities open to Northern capital in the development of Southern industries.

Though the narrator turns out to be right—that there is no reason to fear that the plantation is bewitched and will, therefore, fail—there is a practicality and skepticism to his manner that contrasts harshly with Julius's creativity and folksy story-telling. We almost want the narrator to leave Julius in peace to enjoy his grapes, but the narrator's no-nonsense business acumen wins the day. It seems to hint at the idea that, while the outcome of the Civil War was good, Northerners looking to capitalize on the South's loss continue to enact some violence against the fallen South.