Mrs Ruffner's Influence On Washington

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Johnson uses his piano playing in order to create an emotional connection with his white listeners. At a party he draws a fan group to the piano after playing a ragtime tune, “They watched my fingers and asked what kind of music it was that I was playing, where I had learned it, and a host of other questions” (836). The guests are perplexed by the sounds that they had never heard before. Johnson is quickly made an important person at the party as he is able to connect with the guests through his piano playing. At one point the guests communicate to the host about their thoughts on the music that is provided, “the guest were enthusiastic in telling the host that he had furnished them the most unusual entertainment that they had ever enjoyed”…show more content…
One of the relationships that Washington creates is with Mrs. Ruffner. As her servant, he utilizes his skills as a hard worker in order to reach the Hampton Institute. Washington illustrates Mrs. Ruffner’s relationship with himself, “Mrs. Ruffner always encouraged and sympathized with me in all my efforts to get an education” (565). While Mrs. Ruffner supported Washington’s education, she was never as deeply impacted as the characters in Johnson’s narrative. Mrs. Ruffner never goes out of her way to help the process of an education take place like Johnson’s millionaire friend does. While Mrs. Ruffner provides support, she does not provide direct help to Washington. She also never speaks about the troubles of the African American with Washington as the millionaire friend does. While the millionaire friend gives a large sum of money in order for Johnson to continue to pursue his dreams, Mrs. Ruffner only continues to give Washington the typical wage until he leaves for Hampton. Similarly, Washington struggles to impact General Samuel C. Armstrong at the Hampton Institute. The General is more concerned with the overall wellbeing of the students in the institute than he is specifically with Washington. The only point where Armstrong specifically attends to Washington’s needs is when he reaches out to Mr. S. Griffitts Morgan to cover Washington’s tuition. However, due to the description
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