Keith Gilyard's Essay 'First Lessons'

654 Words3 Pages

The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combinatoin of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc.., within a given body of text. Distinguished professor of English at Pennslyvania State University, Keith Gilyard explains his first life lessons in his developed essay, First Lessons. He uses phrases like, “I hit the scene uptown in 1952, They doin’ nasty, and I decided to give Judy a sex change operation.” that adds spice to the essay other than just plain out stating what he meant in these phrases. Gilyard starts his essay by telling the reader, “I hit the scene uptown in 1952 on a Sunday afternoon.” (277) Gilyards voice expresses in this sentence by giving it life. This gives the reader a better view on where Gilyard is from, and how this term expresses his culture instead of simply just saying, I was born in 1952 on a Sunday, which wouldn’t make the passage as much addicting to finish reading. Since Gilyard was born in Harlem, a …show more content…

Firstly, if the reader quickly glanced over the page he/she would focus on this sentence thinking a real sex change was going to happen so therefore this term used catches the readers attention. Another reason is, the term is more interesting. If Gilyard just said, “I cut off all my sister Judy hair, and put her in my boy clothes while our mother was asleep.” It would be boring, and the reader would be thinking, “okay so what?” Lastly, the third reason that the term was a good choice in adding voice to Gilyard’s essay would be because, children often like to expieriment, and be engaged in activites that they aren’t supposed to be involved in. This is a perfect example to add to his life lesson essay, while at the same time using a sense of

Open Document