In letter 1, the reader is made to feel sorry for the narrator, Celie, as she must express her thoughts and feelings to God. This shows her appeal for help and in some sense forgiveness “I am I have always been a good girl.” Many critics have stated the epistolary form is a good way to see growth of a character’s emotions throughout the novel. Peck and Coyle show this in the following quote. “It is a method that offers great insight into the character’s minds.” Alice Walker also uses the narrator to express her opinions and thoughts on slavery and how black women were treated. This is shown clearly by the opening of the first letter.
She also uses sound devices (repetition) “That's me.” (assonance) “It's in the click of my heels” and (alliteration) “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies”. The poem was written for the African American woman, suggesting that no one would dare bring her down. Stating all women express their beauty in the way they carry themselves. These aspects are what make a woman phenomenal, rather the physical appearance that many base it on.
The repetition of “still I rise” becomes like a politician's speech, it is a chant for all people who would otherwise feel trodden. It defines my character precisely. Like me, she rose above hardship. The poem Still I Rise deals with the time period that emphasized the lack of respect and equality for African Americans. Her anger is aimed toward the individuals that added to their struggle.
Zora Neale Hurston depicts the Harlem Renaissance in many different ways and with many different methods. She uses many concepts of the Harlem Renaissance art to describe happy situations in colorful ways through Janie’s thoughts. Hurston also effectively uses language to understand African-American culture depicted in Harlem Renaissance paintings. Hurston controls description to demonstrate the accentuated feature of artists. “Then again the gold and purple, the gloat and glamour of the secret orders, each with its insinuations of power and glory undreamed of by the uninitiated.”(Their Eyes were Watching God 88).
According to Mo Walsh “…southern gothic literature [is] popular across the globe…” (Walsh 1), due to the historical appeal of the storyline described above. One of the greatest Southern Gothic writers of all time is Zora Neale Hurston. Her societal views on racism expressed heavily in her writing challenged commonly held beliefs among a myriad of individuals. Hurston’s works such as Their Eyes are Watching God and “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”, display her use of literary elements to describe the racial injustices and cultural pride throughout her time period. In “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”, by Zora Neal Hurston, Hurston employs the oyster knife symbol, the rock symbol and the brown bag symbol to illustrate her pride in her racial culture and identity.
However, the writer shows her confidence and believes that no matter what her enemies might do to them, they will rise and overcome the obstacles in their lives. Finally, the writer discusses how nothing really mattered to her anymore; not the shame and not even the fact that she is black. By using repetition, this poem sounds more confident and positive. The words “still I rise” are being used over and over again in the poem which gives an impression that the minorities – coloured skin people- were never weak and they have always been and always will accomplish what they have desired of, respect. She is brave and strong and she rises up to
Her characters are realistic and the places special, well thought out sentences and speech keep the readers interested. Zora Neale Hurston’s talent enables her to write an engaging story about a southern black woman’s life. In addition, the characters are realistic and relatable, such as when Janie and Tea Cake first meet and Tea Cake says, “‘Why ain’t you at de ballgame, too? Everybody else is dere,’” and Janie replies, “‘Well, Ah see somebody else besides me ain’t dere. Ah just sold some cigarettes.’ They laughed again” (95).
Brent Staples reached his audience on not only a personal, but public level as well. The way Staples opens his essay is genius. He uses the personal experience of a white woman fearing his attack, and ultimately running from him. Instantly, he has caught the reader’s attention and keeps it for the rest of his argument. Through this kind of intimate and close to home story, Staples makes it clear that he himself came to the awful realization of “ the ability to alter public space in ugly ways” ( Staples, 19).
Jennifer Price uses tone, irony, and sarcasm in “The Plastic Pink Flamingo” as her rhetorical devices to reveal her view on not only flamingos, but also culture. She engages her audience and this causes them to continue reading. There are deep issues that Jennifer Price addresses in her essay such as consumerism and the materialistic society. She calls these issues to her audience’s attention by speaking of the less serious plastic, pink flamingos. Price criticizes the United States culture by juxtaposing the seriousness of a nation bouncing back from depression with the quirky nature of the flamingo.
Benjamin is also an African American born in Birmingham, he is an English writer and dub poet. This poem is written with Maya Angelou herself as the speaker. She is speaking to her audience of oppressors about how she has overcome racism, criticism, sexism, and personal obstacles in her life with pride and grace. This poem is historically rooted with the mentions of slavery, a “past of pain,” and “gifts of ancestors,” however she is speaking in the present having overcome all of the hardships of her past and embarking on the rest of her journey with the knowledge that she is a strong African American woman. Still I Rise is about overcoming oppression with grace and pride having no sympathy for the oppressors and giving validity to the reasons for oppression.