Don’t call me that word – Lawrence Hill
The author’s purpose in this essay is to inform us of what it is like being a black person living in Canada, and also how the N- word is used regularly in common speech. The author achieves his purpose by using rhetorical devices such as giving examples from his personal experiences.
The author uses specific rhetorical devices in this essay including anecdotes, rhetorical questions, using many examples and situations he has come across in his life. The first device Hill uses is an anecdote about how his father laid down three rules that would help him through his life. The 1st was to study, the nd, was that if he didn’t achieve complete success at school or work than it was considered a failure, and the rd “was if anybody called you “nigger” I was to beat the hell out of him.” This is a very strong opening. It struck me as soon as I read it and I felt there was a little bit of hate in the author.
The first of many examples from the essay is one referring to the history of black people and what they have overcome. Hill says that over the 400 hundred years of black history his race have beaten numerous challenges, such as “the chains of slave vessels” and even “our own murderous infighting.” The purpose of this is to show that they have overcome all these things but they still cannot strip themselves from word. Hill’s examples are strong and make good points. His second shows the way various people use the N-word. Hill says that they’ve “hit the pinnacle of absurdity when white teenagers sling their arms around black friends and say Whassup my nigger?” He said that they do this because white people want a piece of the word. Hill gives us a different example of how people use the word, not only referring to black people. He stated that the Irish have been referred to as “the niggers of Europe.” He tells us this to show us that the word is known on a universal basis and that everyone everywhere knows it. Lawrence Hill then...