Summary of “Tamango” Merimee

“Tamango” by Prosper Merimee is a story not only about how clever, cruel and heartless the whites bought and secretly transported slaves, but also about how intimidated, disenfranchised, unarmed Negroes managed to capture the ship of slavers, not knowing, however, that with to do next. Receiving huge profits from the sale of “ebony”, White took little care of the comfort of living goods. In an effort to acquire more and more slaves, they filled the holds with black men, women, and children, many of whom died during a difficult journey. In the novel, P. Merime, something unusual happened: a black slave Tamango, a former famous warrior, was among the usual intimidated and neglected Negroes. For this tall, handsome African, the captain had hoped to save a lot of money. But it turned out differently. Tamango planned to persuade the rest of the slaves to rebel. Playing on the superstition of the Negroes, he promised that he would be able to return them to his homeland.


arguments, “the prestige of the speaker, the habit of slaves to fear and obey Tamanho, have remarkably helped his eloquence.” After selecting the moment, the blacks disarmed the conventional signal and killed the sentries, and then all the whites on the ship. The power on the ship completely passed into the hands of former slaves. But what could they do about it? Not one of them was able to carry the ship, and even Tamango did not understand the compass testimony. Horror and despair gripped people who understood the hopelessness of their situation. Ignorant and frightened, even outside their homeland, they remained slaves, although there was no white man nearby.

I believe that the revolt of the blacks was doomed to failure in advance. Not knowing what to do, they tried to drown out their fear of vodka, found in the hold. It is unlikely that there would be any force that managed to return them to their homeland. Even those Negroes, whose fate we do not know anything (they swam into obscurity on an overloaded boat), most likely died.

Death in this case is the best solution for

the disenfranchised, ignorant, far-off wanderers. Only she could put an end to their suffering.

The slave trade is one of the greatest misfortunes and misfortunes that civilization brought to mankind, to be exact, those peoples and tribes who did not yet know firearms, did not know how to build large fleet ships, did not know that a person can be used as a thing. Against inhuman trafficking in humans sent a novel P. Merimee “Tamango.”

Tamango is an African warrior who has learned the power of money and is quickly accustomed to the “blessings” of civilization – alcohol, weapons, treachery. Tamango is as black as those he sells to whites. But the warrior believes that the reputation of a good supplier of “ebony” can protect him from any trouble. We know that he was wrong: Tamango’s reputation was of little help. But knowledge, self-confidence, leadership skills saved his life.

We encounter terrible things with horrible things, reading the novel of P. Merimee. The slave trade, banned by the authorities, brought huge money to the crafty shipowners, so they went to great lengths to deceive French customs officers and British cruisers. Captain Ledoux’s ship had six large iron boxes filled with metal collars, chains, and shackles for future slaves. Purchased Negroes, hitting the ship, did not even have the opportunity to get up, so little was the distance between the decks. Without moving, they sat close to each other. In the narrow passage, too, lay black people. The “humane” captain believed that there would be enough room for every Negro to be five pounds in length and two pounds in width. It was the space needed for a precious commodity to survive for a six-week voyage.

However, the captain was not only humane, but also an intelligent man. Using the principle of “compressibility” of human bodies, he bought a few dozen slaves more than he planned, because Tamango demanded for them a very ridiculous price – a bottle or even a glass of vodka.

The tragedy that happened in the sea seems to me a just retribution for the cruelty, immorality and lack of spirituality of whites. The Negroes perished, because they were doomed from the very beginning. And the captain and his team received what they deserved, having met death by the hands of the offended and humiliated, forcibly taken from their homeland people.

Tamango – the main character, whose name is called a short story. Getting to know him, we learn that Tamango is a famous human trafficker. Communication with the whites made him artful, enterprising, businesslike, and strength, courage, pride, determination and ability to insist on his characterize Tamango as a good warrior.

I think Tamango is a traitor, because he trades people who are the same with him in color and spirit. His confidence that the slave trade has leveled him with the whites is deceptive, because the captains with whom he makes deals, laugh at him, cheat and look at this tall, mighty African as a commodity. Not knowing what kind of profit Captain Leda will get for the purchased slaves, Tamango sells him one hundred and sixty Negroes in exchange for “crappy paper cloths, gunpowder, flints, three kegs of vodka, fifty poorly collected guns.” We see that he is not too ceremonious about the goods, which he considers unsuitable, because there was no buyer for him. Those whom Tamango can not sell even for a glass of vodka, he is ready to kill. That’s why I think it’s fair that the slave-merchant himself got on the ship as a slave.

However, after ceasing to be a trader, Tamango, before our very eyes, turned into a warrior – far-sighted, cautious and cunning. His power over the Negroes is very strong, because the slaves are led by fear. Superstitious and intimidated, blacks are ready to obey Tamango, who promises liberation and return to their homeland. Tamango has achieved his goal. As a result of the riot, all the whites were killed on the ship. However, the leader himself obviously lacked the knowledge to guide the course of the ship. And yet, Tamango believes in his own destiny. He does not surrender to drunkenness as other Negroes, but keeps with dignity, stores food and water. He manages to survive – the only one of all people on the ship. However, this freedom Tamango never received and died far from home.

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Summary of “Tamango” Merimee