Summary Of Natasha Trethewey History Lesson

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In order to change history, people must learn from their mistakes. Segregation in North America has been a big issue in North America that unfortunately still happens in the world today, however, it is not as bad as it once was. In the poem “History Lesson” by Natasha Trethewey, the author uses mood, symbolism and imagery to describe the racial segregation coloured people faced in the past compared to more recent times, where equality is improved and celebrated. The author uses language and setting to influence the mood and meaning of the poem. She starts off the poem with the speaker looking at a “photograph” (Trethewey l. 1) of herself when she was four years old. The reader is instantly taken into a personal memory of the narrator and …show more content…

The poem begins with the speaker looking at a photograph of herself on a beach where the “sun cuts the rippling Gulf in flashes with each tidal rush” (Trethewey l. 5-7). The beach is an area where two separate elements meet, earth and water, which can represent the separation of the different races that is described during the time that her grandmother was alive and it can also represent the two races that are able to live in harmony in the present day. The clothing that the two women wear not only represent how people dressed during the different time periods, but in both the photographs of the speaker and her grandmother, they are seen standing in a superman-like pose with their hands on “flowered hips” (Trethewey l. 3,16). The flowers on the “bright bikini” (Trethewey l. 4) are used to represent the death of segregation, similar to how one would put flowers on a loved one’s grave, and on the “cotton meal sack dress” (Trethewey l. 17) it is used to symbolize love and peace in a troubled society. Contrasting images are used between the beginning and end of the poem. At first, the speaker is described as standing on a “wide strip of the Mississippi beach,” (Trethewey l. 2) while her grandmother is standing on a “narrow plot of sand.” It symbolizes the freedom the speaker now compared to the confinement and limited opportunities her grandmother experienced. Natasha Trethewey uses mood, symbolism, and …show more content…

In my group, there wasn’t really anyone who had much experience using a DSLR or making and editing videos. We decided on the poem “History Lesson” because it could be applied to present day problems with the #Blacklivesmatter movement. During the first two classes we had, we came up with what shots we wanted to take and ideas we wanted to incorporate, but there was no exact storyline, it was only created after we shot half of the video. One of the major problems we had was with the weather. Because the beach was where the poem was where the poem was set, we wanted to film the majority of the scenes at the beach. On the day of filming, we had to reschedule because it started raining and snowing so we decided to go to downtown in the freezing weather instead and shoot as many things as we could during the time given with the camera. We decided to wear all black in our video not only because none of us were comfortable acting in front of a camera, but in reference to Trayvon Martin who died after being shot by the owner of a store who thought he was trying to rob him just because he was black and wore his hoodie up. We also decided not to have a voice over because we thought it would take away from the serious message of the video. There are no extreme angles and minimum distortion in our video because we wanted it to be as realist as possible, although we did use high angles to represent vulnerability and low angles to

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