The Jamaican Fragment Essay

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Rhetorical Analysis of the Jamaican Fragment by A.L Hendricks

    From my experiences over the years, it seems as though the most clarifying moments in life were the ones that were misunderstood at first. Habitually we judge an experience and often are “suspicious when we have been warped by prejudice” (364). Being able to look at an experience objectively and walk away with personal gain is all we can really hope for as human beings. A.L Hendrick’s descriptive narrative, the Jamaican Fragment, tells the story of a Jamaican man who witnesses a young white boy “imposing his will upon a little black boy” (363). Understanding the content, diction, and syntax, provides the resources that allow the readers to go through the experiences as the author did.

    The Jamaican Fragment deals with a Jamaican man’s internal suspicions regarding racial inferiority in his homeland. When walking to work one morning the man notices a young black boy and a young white boy playing in a garden. Upon watching them closer, the man realizes the white boy is dominating the black boy, while the black boy submitted. Struggling to find reason behind the black boy’s lack of resistance, the man’s “faith in his people was shaken for the day” (363).

    Choosing to write an essay informally allows the readers to feel a more personal connection to the author’s experiences, like those in the Jamaican Fragment.

  The walk is pleasant. The road on either side is flanked by red- and green-roofed bungalows, green lawns and gardens. The exercise is good for me and now and then I learn something from a little incident (362).

By describing his day-to-day routine, the author creates an informal, conversational essay.   The essay is easier to follow and more thought provoking than if it was a formal essay. The reader feels an attachment to the author, like a friend. In the same realm, the content is personal. The author’s personal feelings and opinions are evident. “Were we as a race...

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