Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric

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Claudia Rankine a renown poet, uses her novel “Citizen: An American Lyric” to discuss issues of race and imagination. Claudia Rankine is an absolute master of poetry and uses her gripping accounts of racism, through poetry to share a deep message. Claudia Rankine uses poetry to correlate directly to accounts of racism making Citizen a profound experience to read. Not only is this poetic novel a vision of her world through her eyes, Rankine uses the experiences of Americans whose color has rendered them invisible to the many who are privileged enough to be blind and not note racism as a large issue in America. Claudia Rankine articulates the use of you and further emphasizes the larger meaning of the title Citizen and recognizing that word through societal issues. Claudia Rankine tries to trouble the notion of citizenship in many…show more content…
The word citizen is a term that is very fraught and at times contradictory in its underlying meaning and message being shared and shifts throughout the text. Not only does the word Citizen imply various meanings, but as a repetition in the text, the word “you” shifts as well which directly correlates to the theme of the title. A perfect example of you shifting meaning in text from showing that you directly becomes a term relating to an individual being an outsider in a community whereas throughout the text Claudia Rankine uses you as a ideology to show individuality with oneself. An exemplary example of Claudia Rankine's shift with the word you, is a situation in which she addresses you as racial minority and showing a white person on the outside. On page 131 of Citizen, a white women and a racial minority have an interaction in which the women blatantly shows her rejection of him and shares a desire to stay clear away from him by not sitting next to him in an empty train cart. In this poem, Claudia Rankine explores the in depth aspect of
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