James Johnson Monologue

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“I know that in writing the following pages I am divulging the great secret of my life, the secret which for some years I have guarded far more carefully than any of my earthly possessions; and it is a curious study to me to analyze the motives which prompt me to do it. I feel that I am led by the same impulse which forces the un-found-out criminal to take somebody into his confidence, although he knows that the act is likely, even almost certain, to lead to his undoing. I know that I am playing with fire, and I feel the thrill which accompanies that most fascinating pastime; and, back of it all, I think I find a sort of savage and diabolical desire to gather up all the little tragedies of my life, and turn them into a practical joke on society” …show more content…

On page 65, the text reads, “New York City is the most fatally fascinating thing in America. She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country, showing her alluring white face and hiding her crooked hands and feet under the folds of her wide garments—constantly enticing thousands from far within, and tempting those who come from across the seas to go no farther. And all these become the victims of her caprice. Some she at once crushes beneath her cruel feet; others she condemns to a fate like that of galley slaves; a few she favors and fondles, riding them high on the bubbles of fortune; then with a sudden breath she blows the bubbles out and laughs mockingly as she watches them fall” (65). He mentions that New York is like a great witch and that “she” condemns her victims like gallery slaves. Johnson made the decision to include these similes as they are engaging and make the description of New York come alive. This style choice of figurative language is very notable, as many authors will only include a few examples in their writing. Johnson felt as though literary devices make the reading come alive, and this opinion can be heavily justified in his writing. Overall, James Weldon Johnson chose to utilize and highlight the style choice of literary devices in his

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