Death in “We Real Cool”
In Gwendolyn Brooks poem “We Real Cool” Seven African-American high school dropouts want everyone to admire them. These teenagers explain how they stay out late playing pool, fighting, sinning and drinking. Though they believe they have everybody else fooled, they know themselves that the destructive behavior they are taking part in will lead to their death. “The sluggard’s carving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (Proverbs 21:25) The Bible makes a very clear statement in this passage as to how being lazy can be the cause of one’s death. In “We Real Cool,” Gwendolyn Brooks uses denotation and sound devices to suggest that although humans may often think of themselves as being cool for dropping out; However, it will give them time to engage in sinful activities which will result in a broken, short life.
Brooks uses denotation to suggest that although some African-Americans may often think of themselves as being cool for dropping out of school they know in reality that dropping out will give them time to engage in sinful activities. “We real cool. We/ left school” (Lines 1-2), explains how these African-American teenagers think they are cool because they drop out of high school. “We/ Lurk late” (3-4). The point that they lurk late provides support in understanding that these teenagers are dropouts by them not caring and staying out during the late hours of the night. Not only do these young African-Americans stay out late, but while they out they start fights “We/ strike straight” (3-4). While being out late, the teenagers that are talked about in this poem are into drinking alcohol. “We/ thin gin” (5-6). Although these young African-Americans think of themselves as being cool because they dropped out of school, stay out fighting and drinking, they know that all of the untruthful things they are taking part of will lead to their death quickly, “We/ die soon” (7-8). The creative way Brooks uses denotation in...
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