“What’s in a Name” Reading Response
Within the story Gate’s describes the difference between his family and other black families in town, he says, “we had stopped off at the Cut-Rate Drug Store (where no black person in town but my father could sit down to eat, and eat off real plates with real silver wear).” Gates’ family social status is different from other black families in Piedmont, West Virginia due to the fact that his family has “financial security.” His father works two jobs in order to get this kind of benefits and treatments. Also gaining some respect form whites. Gates does not understand why Mr. Wilson called his dad George. After Gates was exposed to black discrimination, his parents “break the ice” after a “painful moment of silence” by talking about “black super stars” like Sugar Ray and Jackie Robinson; this is interpreted as a way of Gates’ family to make him feel better of being black and intended to make Gates proud of being African American. Gates introduces his narrative with two quotations exposing discrimination in 1961 and 1989. He also choses African American writers, to give the audience and preview of the racism throughout the years, how similar issues are discussed and how blacks were labeled by whites. Introducing this quotes the author brings emotional connection to the audience throughout the story. Paragraph one plays a vital part in the narrative. It gives the audience information about the author. The audience is informed on the matters the author is interested in, focusing on race and cultural issues. This lets the audience to picture the preview of the story. However, Gates’ story would have made sense without it. Even though the purpose of the story would not have been direct, the audience can make a connection by the use of quotes referring to racism at the beginning of the story. The use of the dialogue contributes to the narrative by making the purpose clearer. The dialogue explains Gates’ feelings towards the...
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