Kiese Laymon

634 Words3 Pages
Kiese Laymon offers an interesting insight into his world and his experiences in the collection of essays entitled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. He creates an accessible account of his own experiences that is relatable and eye-opening. He toys with different styles of writing to accomplish this task of bringing his stories to an audience of all classes and colors. Recalling moments of racism in his life, he shows the gravity of the issue through his use of language. Laymon utilises a variety of voices to make his experience and life resonate with those who have lived similar and different lives to him. Laymon has the ability to speak in and comprehend a variety of different languages with varying levels of formality. Through this, he shows us differences in many characters. In one chapter he recounts a summer spent in Emmaus, Pennsylvania when one of his girlfriend’s friends came to visit. Within lines of the essay, Laymon uses her language to create an impression of the type of person the reader is encountering. He mentions that, “every few seconds” she would throw around words such as “ridiculous” and “totally,” often misusing both terms (Laymon 53). This girl’s use of language is one that leaves an impression with the reader of a girl who is perhaps void of true substance or depth. Through these means, she is…show more content…
At times, he blends colloquial words with scholarly thoughts and perceptions, creating a mixture that is nothing like a formal essay, while relaying a similar depth of message. In one sentence he can use a word such as “fabricate” and then switch to a vulgar tone when talking about different types of uncles (Laymon 117). Laymon’s formality interspersed with slang and vulgarity is a type of English that is rarely used and seems to remain relatively unique to him. Laymon can eloquently discuss his favorite black comedians while bringing elements of their own humor into his
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