American Literature From The 1865 Present How It Feels to Be Colored Me Discussion Read papers of three classmates and provide comments. As you read, consi

American Literature From The 1865 Present How It Feels to Be Colored Me Discussion Read papers of three classmates and provide comments. As you read, consider the following points:

Does your classmate have a solid thesis? Identify the sentence that you think is the thesis. If you can’t find one, let your classmates know.

Does your classmate summarize the text that he/she used briefly but thoroughly?

Does your classmate analyze the text thoroughly?

Does the paper use MLA citations correctly?

Does the paper flow logically?

Do you have any other recommendations for your classmates?

When you are finished, post your comments on your classmate’s thread. Note: Please answer all of the questions completely. Write a total of at least 200 words in response to each classmate’s essay that you review in order to get full credit for this assignment. Allah 1
Sajadah Allah
Professor
American Lit from 1865-Present
April 2020
How It Feels to Be Colored Me Interpretation
I decided to use the text How It Feels to Be Colored Me written by Zora Neale Hurston to
do my interpretation over. In a few words, How It Feels to Be Colored Me was written about how
Hurston discovers self and self-pride. She went through a patch of finding out how the outside
viewed her and how she was going to view herself. Throughout the text she used her personal
experiences to determine what identity she was going to claim for herself. How It Feels to Be
Colored Me is like a door opener, now black folks can self-identify themselves without caring
about the opinions of outside folks.
Hurston made it seem as if living in America has an African American did not make her
feel “colored”, but rather, it is the people in her society and around her that made her feel
colored in negative manner. Hurston lived in a town where she rarely knew white people and the
only white people she knew “passed through the town going to or coming from Orlando.” Up
until Hurston moved to go to school, she only had interacted with the “tourist” that came through
the town. Hurston would speak pieces, sing, and dance for them, and in return they would give
her “generously of their small silver” for doing those things. For someone who wasn’t as old or
exposed to what really went on back then, she was ignorant to the fact that she was simply
entertainment for them. However, Hurston did mention that she wanted them to stop giving her
money for something that she liked doing but she didn’t know express that to them. Hurston
stated that the colored folks watched her to, but the only difference was that they did not give
her any money for her little performances, but they did deplore “any joyful tendencies in me.”
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Simply stating that even though they did not pay her for her perform, Hurston genuinely knew
that the black folks appreciated her performance and truly cared about her.
Ignorance is bliss was the theme I sought out in this text. She was young and no
knowledge of what was going on around her and she acted has such until she thirteen and had
moved down to Jacksonville, Florida to go to school. Hurston first thoughts when she got down
there was, “I was not Zora of Orange County any more, I was now a little colored girl.” When
Hurston moved to Jacksonville it seemed as if her life as a colored person began. The city she
had arrived in was larger than Eatonville and was a “whiter” city, that had recognized and
applied racial distinctions that her childhood town did not. Vitally, Hurston feels that she lost her
identity as “Zora”, as least the Zora she was from Eatonville. Instead, she was now dumped into
a larger category, as well as, a loss of the privileges she had in her hometown Eatonville. By not
knowing or being exposed to the racial awareness until she moved to Jacksonville when she is
13, Hurston felt that race was just a function of place and society. When taken out of
environment that is not built on racism and have no knowledge of what is going on around you,
you become oblivious to the real world. Which leads me to my next topic.
Hurston starts one of her paragraphs off by expressing that, “Someone is always at my
elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves. It fails to register depression with
me. Slavery is sixty years in the past.” Hurston does this thing where she acknowledges that
slavery transpired through great sacrifices. This view of history separates the views of many
black thinkers from then and now, simply showing a diversity of thoughts from African American.
In the beginning, I was thinking that Hurston was being a bit oblivious to what impact that
slavery had on black folks, but, instead of dwelling on the history of slavery, she uses it as a
steady evolution towards freedom for black folks and empowerment.
Not all the time do blacks feel like they’re “colored folks,” however they do feel like
they’re out of place when there is more white folks around; and not necessarily feeling out of
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place but the more whites there are, some blacks feel a bit uncomfortable. It isn’t always
because that is the normal, sometimes it is simply the energy that is present in whatever setting
we’re in. I know that’s how Hurston felt because she had written, “I do not always feel colored.
Even now I often achieve the unconscious Zora of Eatonville before the Hegira. I feel most
colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” This was Hurston way of echoing
the idea that “coloredness” is more of a relative condition. This was created by being in a
majority white environment where others, either directly or indirectly, enforce differences
between white and black folks.
To end with, you don’t dwell on something you have no control over, however, you also
don’t forget about what all it took to get where you are. Colored folks had to overcome so many
obstacles to get where they are today. For instance, we are not even referred to as colored
folks, we are black people/black folks, unless it’s an old head that was a-part of the slavery time.
When you are feeling uncomfortable or out of place because you are around a bunch of folks
that are not black folks, simply remember that our ancestor went through all the pain and
suffering so that we did not have to feel that way. Lastly, do not let society define you, nor do
you let the past define who you are. Though, because of what our ancestor did have to endure
we are able to move how we move today, we still must face the leeches that are left in the world
today.
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Naudya Watson
American Lit. Online
04/ /2020
Barn Burning
In “Barn Burning,” by William Faulkner, the Snopes family is a poor, white, farming
family from the South. The Snope family works as sharecroppers, they work on other people’s
land in exchange for money, food, and or supplies. Often former slaves took on the job as
sharecroppers, however; very poor white families such as the Snopes would find work wherever
they would fit necessary. Written in the 30s, it’s very clear that William Faulkner wrote this story
in an earlier time period than today, the word “nigger” is used excessively along with multiple
other racist incidents. Throughout “Barn Burning” multiple instances of resentment, prejudice
and racism occur from the Snopes family.
Abner Snopes is the most negative character throughout the story, he never fails to go out
of his way to spread his negative, often prejudice thoughts. He commonly feels the need to point
out the difference between himself and a person of color, typically in a way that makes him look
superior and them inferior. For starters, when Abner and Sarty first arrive at the de Spain
mansion, the black servant has ordered Abner, the white man, to wipe his feet before entering
the house. Instead of politely taking off his shoes and following the servant’s orders, Abner
decides to clap back saying, “Get out of my way, nigger” (Faulkner 773), as if he felt so entitled
he was excluded from the normal rules of taking off one’s shoes before entering a house.
Another instance of racism coming from Abner Snopes is when he’s admiring the house, and
states, “That’s sweat. Nigger sweat. Maybe it ain’t white enough yet to suit him. Maybe he wants
to mix some white sweat with it” (Falkner 773). Abner is implying that the work of the black
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men was not good enough, therefore the Snopes was hired to put in their “white” sweat for more
satisfying results. It’s obvious that Abner’s resentment towards black people is also a reflection
of the fact that he and they work the same job. He puts himself on a high horse, in order to put
black people on a low horse.
Along with being a racist, Abner hates the rich, he is very resentful towards them. He is
furious and enraged by those with wealth, he blames them for America’s problems pertaining to
the poor. Abner also resents the rich for the simple fact that they have black people working for
them.
Fire can and will permanently change the appearance of an object once it is burnt. We
see the element of fire brought into this story time and time again. In Abner’s mind, burning
things of value with fire is an odd form of justice of fighting people with extreme wealth or
people with absolutely nothing at all. He doesn’t give back to anyone of any sort. He just looks
to basically screw over the wealthy percent of people. Every time he’s insulted or feels offended,
he feels the need to involve fire. A fire has represented the burning of the old and passing it on to
the new. So basically, every time Abner runs into a landlord or business owner who has
generated more wealth than him, he most likely is going to resort to a fire or a burning of some
sort. Abner oddly views himself as the prophet to basically teach them to stay in their place.
Saying that they are not any better simply because of the wealth they contain. He believes that
they only generated so much wealth simply by stealing from the poor and keeping the low class
poor. Abner mentions, “I reckon I’ll have a word with the man that aims to begin to-morrow
owning me body and soul for the next eight months” (Faulkner 774). Abner throws lowkey shots
about how he feels towards the difference in classes. Abner not only believes he is more superior
to blacks but it’s clear he believes he’s more superior than the rich man he works for because de
Spain was built with “nigger sweat.” Due to Abner’s prejudice, he has put himself at such a
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superior state towards any and everyone. Abner’s ignorant, racist, resentful, and prejudiced acts
are contagious towards the rest of his family, specifically Sarty, his 10-year-old son.
Prejudice, racism, and resentment are all prominent themes of “Barn Burning” by
William Falkner. Abner out himself on a high horse and swore he was above everyone. He had
racial prejudice and class prejudice. It was almost like Abner felt obligated to put everyone down
whoever he thought was below him. The rich were inferior to him for letting black people work
for them and black people were inferior for strictly being black. Abner’s ignorant behavior easily
influenced the behavior of his family, the word “nigger” was apart of their everyday vocabulary,
and entitlement was apart of their everyday energy. Rough draft Rough draft
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Sutton 1
Loren Sutton
American Lit from 1865-Present
April 2020
The Yellow Wallpaper Analysis
The Yellow Wallpaper, written in 1890 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Was written in
entries from a diary that were describing Janes three-month stay she had in estate. The diary
entries are written in first person from Janes point of view. In her diary Jane wrote about her
postpartum depression after pregnancy. It was, indeed, the denial, repressiveness, and poor
measures of John her husband that led to the deteriorating of her health and mental breakdown.
John, Janes husband was in denial that his wife’s postpartum illness was serious. John
was a physician but, he did not believe that she was seriously ill. Although Jane knew that she
was going through a serious state of postpartum depression after having their baby boy. John was
just calling his wife’s illness “A slightly hysterical tendency” (Gilman 844) with this John just
believed it was out of nervousness. Since John thought it was just out of nervousness that was
apparently temporary. John chooses to ignore her appeal of being sick by refusing to check into
the concerns she had regarding her health. John would not respond to her illness, but when John
did respond to her illness, he would do it out of amusement not out of concern of his own wife.
During her time of depression, Jane said that the only advice he gave her was “the very worst
thing I can do is to think about my condition” (Gilman 844) with John telling Jane this it is just
playing with her concerns and is just making it worse for her. Although, when things have
become to get worse for Jane, he ends up becoming a little more concerned, but still does
nothing to help her. John does nothing to help Jane because he is in such denial and does not
believe that she is seriously ill with postpartum depression.
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John has eventually decided to help his wife, but what he decided to do was repressive
which entailed of only allowing her to stay in her bed which is nailed down. Jane was not
allowed to move around or do things that would actually make her feel better. A few things that
she was not allowed to do was go outside just to walk around to get fresh air, and not being able
to write which is what she had enjoyed doing the most. Although Jane still found a way to write
and take walks secretly so John would not find out. Although she would only be able to do that
when John is away from the house because that was the only thing that would make her feel
better. Once John got back to the house, she was not allowed to do anything she had to be stuck
back in the bed. When Jane would get the chance to write she did not really have much to write
about since John had her stuck to the bed. So, the only thing she could think to write about was
the house and how ugly the wallpaper was in the room she was stuck in. The room John had her
staying in she absolutely could not stand because of how awful the wallpaper was. Jane has a
made a comment that the wallpaper was “one of those sprawling flamboyant patterns” (Gilman
845) which was a very bright yellow ugly tone and color. Although Jane tries to ignore the
wallpaper but cannot ignore it because of how awful it is, and Jane puts the blame on John for
this and keeping her in the ugly wallpapered room. The room and wallpaper are not helping Jane
at all with her postpartum illness. John is to blame for being repressive keeping her locked away
in the room.
John’s poor measures are to be blamed for Jane not getting better. The reason John is to
be blamed is because he stuck her in a room and Jane was not allowed to leave or do anything.
With Jane not being able to do anything it has just made her feel even more depressed and ill.
The wallpaper in the room is what has put Jane on edge the most. Although Jane wanted to
switch rooms due to the obnoxious wallpaper, but John would not move her to a different room.
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Jane kept trying to ignore the wallpaper although that was the only thing she had to look at in
that tiny yellow room. Since that was the only thing to look at, she ended having some interest in
the pattern on the wall. Jane was very convinced that there was a woman in pattern that was
trying to get out but could not escape. That had gone on for some time for Jane and soon after
since Jane was so intrigued by the wallpaper, she started to tear the wallpaper off the wall to try
and save the woman she has envisioned. Although what she had apparently seen she was just
imagining and soon after she had just eventually lost herself in that room. The mental breakdown
has gotten the best of Jane as she started to creep around the room in endless circles, smudging
the wallpaper in a straight groove. Eventually John had broken into the room and faints because
he has found Jane. Johns poor measures of having Jane stuck in a room have caused all of this
deteriorating health and mental breakdown for Jane.
It was, indeed, the denial, repressiveness, and poor measures of John her husband that led
to the deteriorating of her health and mental breakdown. John was in denial because he did not
believe that she was seriously ill even though Jane was aware that she was going through
postpartum depression. In spite of how Jane was feeling John became very repressive in his
actions and took Jane to their estate where she was confined to her bed and room. Johns
continued poor measures only worsened Janes postpartum depression and made her go crazy
being stuck in the room with the obnoxious yellow wallpaper. Only women truly understand
what they are going through with postpartum and know what is best for them. They need the
right care, love and be able to explore, but with John keeping her confined only made the
postpartum depression worse.
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Works Cited
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Levine, Robert S. The Norton Anthology Of
American Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2017. 844-856.

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