Failure Of Society In The Book And Film Roots By Alex Haley

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Society is a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests. Throughout history societies have succeeded and also failed because the society either failed to enact civility or was able to. American society can be seen as both successful and as a failure because society itself is intact but throughout history it has struggled to successfully address and maintain tolerance among its citizens. This struggle is seen in the book and film Roots by Alex Haley as well as poems and speeches made throughout history. Literature uses stories, poems, speeches, and video to respond to both the fallibility of society and the good values that society presents to the world; examples …show more content…

The novel Roots spans many different time periods all responding differently to the period of time it takes place in, revealing how American society was for African Americans throughout early US history. Throughout the 1800s mostly the early 1800s the slave trade dominated American society in the south because slavery brought more profit for there plantations creating a society dependent of slavery. In Roots Kunta Kinte, a native mandinka from Africa, was kidnapped from his village and forced on a ship taking him into slavery in the United States. In chapter 40 he has arrived in America and in this chapter Alex Haley describes the horrors of how slave-traders beat and tortured the new slaves. Kunta is victim of this torture and after the torture he layed “numbly, in a kind of stupor…[and] it came into his mind that when they finally ate his flesh and sucked the bones, his spirit would already have escaped to Allah.When he arrived he was praying silently when barking shouts from the chief toubob and his big helper made him …show more content…

Given that women had not yet gained the right to vote, this negative value of contemporary American society sparked a different, more protesting style of literature, as seen in speeches such as Sojourner Truth's Ain't I A Woman. Truth’s speech was also altered by Frances Gage, who changed it to make it seem more authentic to the audience. In her attempt to authenticate the speech to the public, she ended up changing the speech so much that she created a stereotypical image of Sojourner Truth. Throughout Truth’s original speech she states “Through God who created him and woman who bore him. Man, where is your part” (Truth 1851)? This powerful connection demonstrates how society has influenced her speech because this connection to religion and god is bold, and even though it is true, it is controversial. This controversy shows a protesting style of literature because she is using this example to demonstrate why women deserve equal rights and how men are no greater than women. Not only does society influence her writing style, but when Gage rewrote her speech, she tried to make it more "relevant" or authentic by altering the meaning and words throughout the speech. Gage rewrote the same quotation above as, “From God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with him” (Truth 1851). This adaptation exemplifies how literature can be affected by society because Gage

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