Analysis Of The Poem ' Mommy, What Does ' Nigger ' Mean By Gloria Naylor

1019 Words Oct 26th, 2015 null Page
Words are more than letters on a page or sounds that comes out of ones` mouth. Words are a

form of expression conveyed by a person that reveals their thoughts and even their motives.

Because words are in the eye of the beholder, they have different connotations in different

situations. The power of language formed in a society is determined by the meaning behind the

words that the culture speaks. In the essay, “Mommy, What Does ‘Nigger’ Mean?” Gloria

Naylor also states that spoken and written words have power and meaning. However, words

themselves are not offensive or harmful, but rather it is by the general agreement among society

that gives them their true power. Naylor creates a persona throughout her essay by using

anecdotal evidence, comparisons, pathos, and ethos. By using these rhetorical strategies, she

captures the audience in the harsh reality of how one word affected her life, but when she

changed her perspective, she ultimately used a demeaning situation to not only empower herself,

but other African Americans.

This essay, by Naylor, is written during a pivotal time in history when schools in the United

States of American finally began to integrate races. While writing this essay, her attended

audience is not only African Americans, but also the upper white class during the 1980s. From

the beginning of life, Naylor understood the challenges she would have to face to be successful

in life. Naylor`s parents were sharecroppers and were “wanting…

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