Rhetorical Analysis Of 'How To Make A Slave'

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Have you ever wonder how different communities can shape the outlook of an individual’s life? In “How to Make a Slave,” Jerald Walker effectively argues how different societies impact Walker and his family’s “relationships and life choices”(192). Throughout his personal anecdote, Walker uses a compelling stylistic choice of second person narrative to convey how different backgrounds governs people’s worldviews and the choices they make today, and he also argues that racism should never be taken lightly or ignored because if racism persists, endless amount of conflicts will arise. Walker introduces his essay with him feeling discouraged about his African-American heritage when giving a presentation on his hero—Frederick Douglass.…show more content…
In the ghetto, Walker describes how he “lived in communities with drugs, gangs, crime, bad schools, police brutality, and collective view that white people were and would be racist”(194). Coming from a community that exhibits crimes, drugs, and violence, people who live through these circumstances have a higher tendency of becoming more aggressive on their stance. As for his wife, she grows up in a community that faces a different situation. One that is calm and non-violent. Walker depicts how his wife’s community has excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and clean parks. Despite having a nice community, Walker’s wife still faces racism. For example, people in her community would sometime indirectly discriminate others due to their race: “the stares and snickers her parents faced in restaurants; how her brother was routinely followed by mall security; how her sister had trouble getting a date for prom”(194). Since Walker’s wife comes from a passive community, it explains why she has a passive tone towards disputes, even it is connected to race. In comparison to Walker’s experience, Walker defines that his wife’s challenges as “relatively benign”(194), which means Walker implies that his wife’s situation is easier to deal with. Through the use of disparity of communities, Walker denotes how it is significant that the…show more content…
Since Walker’s wife comes from the suburbs, Walker denotes that her situation with racism in her community as “benign,” where people tend to be passive about racism because they do not see the true danger of racism as depicted in the ghetto. In contrast, Walker grew up in a different community and praises Frederick Douglass as his respected idle. Walker oftenly recites Frederick Douglass’ famous line: “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man”(196), which shows how both Walker and Douglass are a man of action, where both men want to free themselves from feeling tied down to their race. Basically, the first part of Douglass’ quote relates to the title, “How to Make a Slave” because both shows a continuation of oppression in black lives, but the second part of the quote explains how when people are oppressed, regardless of race, class, gender, or age, it is in their nature to
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