How Does Coates Use Syntax In Letter To My Son

856 Words4 Pages

Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates attempts to address the issues that have plagued him his entire life in the article titled "Letter to My Son," in which he writes a letter to his 15-year-old son Samori Toure. The letter explains what it means to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it in the United States. Coates recounts different times in his own life where his innocence was lost, his internal sense of terror was threatened, and a wall of rage was erected around him. Throughout the use of syntax, figurative language, ethos, and pathos, Coates with the initial reaction of any parent, to protect his son, educates his son on the hardships of being Black while in America. Most essential, why he, and other Black people he knew, seem to live …show more content…

Coates states “...their grandfathers so that the branches of the black body might be torchered, then cut away.” When he states “branches'' he is referring to the limbs of African American bodies that have been abused.“ Ta-Nehisi states “It was said that these lost girls were sweet as honey and would not hurt a fly.” He uses two examples of a figurative language in this sentence. One is a simile when he asserts “sweet as honey” to describe the personalities of the children African American parents lost. And the other is a metaphor when he states “would not hurt a fly” meaning their characters were nice and …show more content…

Coates states “What i told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within all of it” He uses parallelism when he utters “that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body” and is showing his son that some of the situations going on now, were going on then. He is articulating that everything is yours and you have to figure out how to live with it. “When I was your age the only people I knew were black, and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.” He uses asyndetons, when he states “powerfully, adamantly, dangerously” to characterize the fate of fear in blacks when he was growing up. “But all our phrasing of race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial paroling, white privilege, even white supremacy serves to obscure racism as a visceral experience..” When Coates states “racial chasm, racial justice, racial paroling” he is using alliteration to touch on the racial hardships African Americans face in

Open Document