English Written Task

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Written Task 2 – Text Shame by Dick Greggory

This essay will discuss an episode from the autobiography by Dick Gregory, Nigger (1964), entitled Shame. Here, the author talks about one of the most important lessons he learned during his childhood: the world is not equal to everyone, and does this by telling his experiences lived in his school and neighborhood, all with the aim to present the difficulties that he and his social group faced during the forties in the United States. Using this story we will find the solution to the question “Which social groups are marginalized, excluded or silenced within the text?” To find this answer we will find how the author presents his difficulties and why his group was marginalized, excluded or silenced. We will also analyze the structure and vocabulary to see how the ideas are created.

The episode starts with a very strong sentence, “I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go for school for that”. Here it is shown that the exclusion of the author’s group is created by the society he lives in, and not by his social group, still, we do not know which social group it is referred. This makes the reader wonder what ideas people are exposed in the streets and if they are right. In this sentence, an irony is also presented. School, a place where people should learn to be better persons, is teaching hate people to be ashamed of themselves.

Until half of the second paragraph we do not know the author’s skin color, but the hint is given in the sentence where Gregory is talking about his cloths “white folk’s shirt fits me better”. Now we know that he is from a specific social group, he is an afro descendant, which suffers from racism, especially in the time where the story is settled.

In the end of the third paragraph it is said that the author was ashamed of himself for the first time in his classroom, again mentioning how his social group (now we know that he is afro descendant) was seen as different in...
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