The Fourth of July Critique

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Brooke Reinke
Howard
28 November 2012
Critique
The Fourth of July

The essay I chose to critique was “The Fourth of July,” by Audre Lorde. This essay was astonishing. Shocked, angered, and upset, just some of the feelings I felt while engaging myself into this narrative. This essay left me wanting to fight for the main characters freedom, even though it took place in the 1960’s. Lorde did a really good job putting together this essay, and an amazing job portraying the message. It is as if there was a secret message behind this story. To me, the message was clear, we shouldn’t have to rely on our imagination to take us to the land of freedom; it should be granted to us.

Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer and activist. She has been very active in active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements (Kulii). In her essay, her family is on vacation in the Nation's Capitol of Washington D.C. Washington D.C. is known to be a place of America's triumphs in order to reach freedom for our country. This is a place that greatly expresses and celebrates our freedoms. Her family was on vacation here due to the fact that her sister was not allowed on her school trip to Washington. In the essay, Lorde states, "I learned later that Phyllis's high school senior class trip had been to Washington, but the nuns had given her back her deposit in private, explaining to her that the class, all of whom were white, except Phyllis, would be staying in a hotel where she Phyllis 'would not be happy,' meaning, Daddy explained to her, also in private, that they did not rent rooms to Negroes." Lorde's family is a colored family living during the 1950's (Lorde 240). Her sister was not allowed to go to the Capitol of our Nation, where "freedom" is supposed to be the most prominent trait of Washington D.C.

This essay is not a research based article, but does include a time period that is very critical to this story viewpoint. The Fourth of July was during the 60’s....
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