`` Incident `` And Claude Mckay 's `` The Lynching `` Essay

1273 Words Apr 20th, 2016 6 Pages
Natasha Trethewey’s “Incident” and Claude McKay’s “The Lynching” are both written about hate crimes. “Incident” is the generational retelling of the author’s family that witnessed a cross burning on their lawn, as a warning, with unsettling images of the aftermath as well as hints of fear permanently embedded in the family’s memory. Each time it is retold, the experience becomes more dauntingly descriptive. “The Lynching” illustrates the picture of a grim and saddening sight of a malicious lynching in which a burned body hangs in front of a crowd of spectators. The author describes how the victim finds peace through his terrible death, but also how the spectators engage in cruel sinful celebration. Trethewey and McKay emotionally describe the trace of mental scarring that hate crimes left behind. Both poems explore historical acts of violence derived from racism, the religious symbols used to understand each victim’s experience and the passing of traditions from one generation to the next.
Historical and modern acts of violence and racism continue to evolve throughout time but the hate still remains. In Trethewey’s poem “Incident” the family is faced with racial indifference through an act of violence involving the Ku Klux Klan or “…white men in their gowns” (13). Trethewey uses metaphor to hint towards the reader that the people committing the crime are from a white-supremacist group. The group also known as the KKK, came to their home in the middle of the night, “we…

Related Documents