Analysis Of Gloria Naylor 's ' Mommy, What Does ' Nigger ' Mean?

1271 Words Nov 4th, 2015 null Page
In the essay “Mommy, What Does ‘Nigger’ Mean?” Gloria Naylor states spoken and written words have power and meaning. Society determines the meaning of words based on what is culturally spoken and accepted as true. Words are a form of expression conveyed by people, which reveal their thoughts and even their motives. The words themselves are not offensive or harmful, but rather it is by general agreement that society gives them their true power. The essay, written during a pivotal time in history, marks when schools in the United States of America finally began to integrate races. Naylor`s intended audience is not only for African Americans, but also the upper white class during the 1980s. From the beginning of life, Naylor understood the trials she would have to face to be successful. As former sharecroppers, her parents strived to give “better opportunities for their daughter” as they continuously stressed the importance of reading and writing though out her life (682). From an early age, Naylor recognizes that words not just spoken, but written carry great importance. She knew that if she wanted to make something of herself, she would have to strive at a young age to be better than everyone around her. She eventually received her “M.A. in Afro-American studies from Yale University” and went on to be a novelist (682). The audience can immediately detect the intellectual side of
Naylor through her essay. She opens by using a philosophical viewpoint concerning…

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