English 2336 – CRN 35993
9 Mar. 2013
Essay Exam #1
“The Message” speaks to idea that it is “…testif[ying] against their captors”(XXXVII). Grandmaster Flash and the Furious five state in the beginning of their song, “Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice”; which lets you know that they are captive of the situation they live in (82). As much as they try to get far away from the violence and poverty they live in, they cannot do so, they are captive. They testify against the streets and how they do not let them progress but instead puts them down. If it’s not someone dying or getting robbed, it is children dropping out of school. This only keeps the cycle going, as children drop out of school following others’ footsteps, because as they grow up they will not be able to break free from their captors. They will also be captive of the poverty, streets, drugs and violence that surround them. Without an education there is no way you can ever leave a situation like that. In the song “The Message” one of the rhetorical strategies that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five used was pathos. Though this song uses all three of the rhetorical strategies, pathos was the one that stood out to me in very particular way. They sing, “Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head”, is a perfect example of the use of pathos in the song (Flash 83). That shows you that he is at breaking point in his life and it is tired of everything around him. You hear the frustration that he feels as he has had to dealt with just about every possible bad thing you could think of. Though he has endured all the obstacles put in front of him, there is no way he is going to be able to survive another one of life’s test. The situation they have had to face on daily basis has brought them to their breaking point, and who knows what they will be capable of doing, not only to themselves but others.
One of the many social...
Cited: Gates, Henry Louis Jr., and Nellie Y. McKay, ed. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004. Print.
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