We Real Cool

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We Real Cool Denise P. Neeley ENG125: Introduction to Literature, Instructor: Erin Schwartz November 25, 2013 We Real Cool “We Real Cool” was written by Gwendolyn Brooks in 1960. This poem is short but powerful. It gives the reader an idea about how Brooks feels about young pool players. She uses diction, sound, characterization and form to present a deeper meaning in her work. She also effectively utilizes literary techniques such as rhythm, alliteration, and imaging that contribute to the overall theme. The speaker of this poem associates himself with a group that he refers to as we. The poem is written in first person, presenting only one character’s point of view. The title is ironic. "We Real Cool" is contradicting the last line, "We Die soon." Every detail in her work is deliberate. Seven at the Golden Shovel" evokes a figurative meaning. The number seven, for example, signifies luck as pool players; while golden implies perfection. However, shovel reminds the reader of death. This is known as “symbol: An object, person, or action that conveys two meanings: its literal meaning and something it stands for as well” (Clugston, 2010). Brooks reveals the ignorance of the players in their speech. "We real cool," is missing the verb "are," so it is no surprise when the speaker says, "We Left School." With these few words she uses language and rhythm to shows the players’ mental demeanor. As an example "we" is at the end of each line rather than at the beginning of the line; therefore emphasizing each one of the monosyllabic. . The lines all rhyme, and since the lines are so short, the effect of the rhyming is even stronger, because the rhyme words are close together: cool / school, late / straight, sin / gin. These are also very strong rhymes. We also find alliteration, that technique where a sound repeats, usually a consonant, and usually at the
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