The Change By Tony Hoagland Summary

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Society creating ones’ identity “The Change” by Tony Hoagland is a poem from his book What Narcissism Means to Me that was published in 2003. He is also the author of several other books and poems. Tony Hoagland was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on November 19, 1953. Hoagland is a poet that utilizes “contemporary American life and culture.” “The Change” is about the reality of nothing changing in America. These changes are expressed utilizing someone who is Caucasian expressing their feelings for a tennis match between “some tough little European blonde pitted against [a] big black girl from Alabama” (9-10). In “The Change”, Hoagland utilizes preconceived stereotypes and allusions in order to illustrate how society in still involved in the creation of one’s identity through: race, culture, and ethnicity. Identity is an individual’s personality and aspects that characterize them. Stereotypes are bias opinions and distorted…show more content…
Hoagland uses stereotypes such as “big black girl from Alabama, cornrowed hair and Zulu bangles on her arms, some outrageous name like Vondella Aphrodite” (10-12), “little European blonde” (9) and “because she was one of my kind, my tribe, with her pale eyes and thin lips” (26-27) to disclose race, and the preconceived notion of stereotypes. Race is an individual’s physical attributes. One’s identity is predetermined by what society feels is best fit. When Hoagland states, “big black girl from Alabama, cornrowed hair and Zulu bangles on her arms, some outrageous name like Vondella Aphrodite” (10-12), he is using the preconceived stereotypes that every African-American girl has “complicated hair” (21) and usually have a bigger body complex from eating unhealthy foods. These unhealthy foods include but are not limited to fried foods such as fried chicken and other items that make up the southern cuisine. Often if someone says, “European blonde” (9) a person thinks of someone that is
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