From all the works we have read, ‘The Struggle is my Life’ by Nelson Mandela and ‘The Fourth of July’ by Audre Lorde explore racism the most effectively. Both these stories revolve around the theme of racism. The theme is made more effective by the time these excerpts were situated in, for example, Lorde’s ‘The Fourth of July’ was written in 1947. At this time segregation still existed, adding to the situation and impact to the theme. Mandela’s work was written in 1964, four years after laws against segregation were passed. We see in his autobiographical some examples of how he was treated because of his race, which will be explored later on.
The writing style and the diction used by the author increases the effect on the theme. Lorde uses visual imagery and sensory imagery to describe her surroundings in detail. She is very descriptive when she explains the scenario where she and her family have been insulted because of their race. She describes the arrangements at the ‘soda fountain’, “the soda fountain was dim and fan-cooled, deliciously relieving to my scorched eyes.” she also describes the furniture to be “the white mottled marble counter”. Making use of this style, being descriptive, gives the readers an idea of the setting, can help them relate to her and gives an insight to her excitement. She is so excited that she remembers every detail. At the beginning of the excerpt she describes the food her mom packed, “My mother had roasted two chickens and cut them up into ……… And, for neatness, there were piles of napkins and a little tin box with a washcloth dampened with rosewater and glycerin for wiping sticky mouths.” She is very descriptive throughout this paragraph.
Mandela also uses description in his story. He describes all the things he and his people had to go through just to survive, “I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and childre, my mother and sisters, to live as an outlaw in my own land. I have had to close my... [continues]
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"Racism." StudyMode.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Racism-439665.html.