Stick With Your Love One
In Charles Chestnutt’s “The Wife of His Youth,” Liza Jane is a woman who is determined to find her long lost husband, Sam Taylor. When he ran away from slavery and escaped up north, he left his wife behind. He changed his name to Mr. Ryder, to forget his past with slavery. Soon he became involved with a group called the Blue Veins, which were a group of people who believed in the preservation of light skinned blacks. In this group he was known as the dean. The Blue Vein society thought that dark skinned blacks were dirt and ignorant. Many years went by and Liza still felt that Sam was in love with her and that they would be back together.
Liza was determined to find Sam. She searched for twenty-five years first going to many southern cities. Everywhere she went she could not find Sam. She then furthered her search by moving northward still looking for Sam Taylor. Groveland, Washington D.C was the first place she went. There she met Mr. Ryder. He was well known in the city for his wealth, intelligence, and leadership. Liza thought Mr. Ryder could help her find her husband because of his popularity, she told him her story.
It was very clear through Liza’s story that she loved Sam. When they were slaves, Liza told him that he was going to be sold and took a beating for him. Before he
was sold Sam ran away and moved up north. Since they could not find him, the slave owners sold Liza instead.
When the Civil War ended, Liza was freed she set out to look for her husband. Liza believed that one day she and Sam were going to find each other and be together. Mr. Ryder listened to her story and asked her questions. How did she survive? What if Sam has forgotten her? What if he has married a different woman? She continued to tell him how she cooked for different families and moved from place to place. She also told him that she did not think he would ever marry again until he found her.
There were three dreams that Liza had that showed her finding Sam. This guided her to believe that he was still alive. Liza’s dreams proved to be true. Liza found her long lost husband and had a conversation with him. Not knowing or recognizing that Mr. Ryder was her husband, she showed him an old picture of himself as Sam Taylor. He knew the picture was of him but he did not tell Liza. After they finish talking he told her that he was going to help her find Sam. Soon Mr. Ryder told Liza and the Blue Veins Society that he was Sam Taylor and that Liza Jane was the wife of his youth.
Liza never forgot of a life with Sam Taylor. Even though Sam escaped and changed his name, she kept faith alive. Maybe this story was mainly focused on keeping faith alive and believing that the one true love wasn’t really gone. Liza influence should be looked upon to readers who have lost their way in the ways of love. Through this paper one should be able to understand and feel the undying love of this woman. It should be an inspiration to all.