Audre Lorde

Good Essays
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Textual analysis for "The Forth of July"
In the essay “The Fourth of July” Audre Lorde shares a story about a young black girl, herself, who struggles to find the answers to why her parents did not explain why things are the way they are or why they do not stand up for themselves. In the story the young girl and her family, which consists of her older sister and her parents, are taking a trip to Washington D.C. They are taking this trip because her sister, Phyllis, did not get a chance to go when her class went in 8th grade because she is black and they would not let her stay in the hotel. Her father told her that they would take a family trip later on so she would not be upset. This trip was not just a normal family vacation it was an eye opening experience for her. Lorde expresses racism and the different issues that pop up through different instances in the story and different experiences she faces. Lorde also expresses the silence theme a lot in her story.
Throughout the story you can see that Lorde uses words like “white” and “bright” which represents white people. Everything around them is white and they are colored. The “silence” issue is also apparent throughout the story. She talks about how the girls’ parents keep things from her and never explain why, like when they had to ride the night train she thought it was just because it was cheaper but the real reason was because it was easier to deal with because of their race. I think they did not tell her things because they wanted her to grow up on her own and learn through experience which she did. Also she says “whatever my mother did not like and could not change, she ignored. Perhaps it would go away, deprived of her attention” (Lorde 567). This is talking about ignoring the situation and the parents just want to blend in with the rest of the crowd. They do not want it to be any different because they are black so they just ignore whenever something goes wrong. This

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