Joe Louis and Fish Cheeks

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (985 words) Published: October 4, 2012
Being a different nationality than those of a more prevalent country can easily dictate whether one feels misplaced, different, or mistreated. In Maya Angelou's “Champion of the World”, she recounts a scene of a boxing match between Joe Louis and Carnera in which the outcome of the match was very important because it would determine whether the blacks would be subjugated to the whites or not. Similarly, in Amy Tan's “Fish Cheeks”, she remembers a story of when she was fourteen during Christmas when her crush and his father were invited to their house, she felt embarrassed at her family, the food, and Chinese traditions. Both stories mention nationalities which feel inferior to the white race. Despite having common ground, the two stories have different perspectives and points of view. Additionally, they use different literary devices, making one story more effective than the other. Literary devices are tools and techniques of language that authors use to convey meaning and enable the audience to produce a vivid mental image while reading the story. The use of different literary devices generates different reactions and tone. For example, using tone, Angelou recounts, “Women greedily clutched the babes on their laps while on the porch the shufflings and smiles, flirtings and and pinchings of a few minutes before were gone. This might be the end of the world” (17). She uses a serious tone while saying that the outcome really means much to the black race and it is a completely crucial issue to them. On top of that she includes irony, saying, “Those who lived too far had made arrangements to say in town. It wouldn't do for a black man and his family to be caught on a lonely road on a night when Joe Louis had proved that we were the strongest people in the world” (28). This final paragraph of “Champion of the World” is ironic, because the black people should be openly proud that Joe Louis had won, yet, they cower away in fright of the white people who...
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