John E. Wideman Fever Analysis

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In many pieces of literature authors usually address a larger social issue by hiding within their passages. These larger social issues would be explained with the use of metaphors or images. In John E. Wideman’s “Fever”, the social issue that is being addressed is the issue of racism in America and the related issues that stem from it. Wideman suggests that racism is always lingering even in within the hearts of many Americans. The American people blame the African Americans for bringing the fever and illness, even though it was the mosquitos that caused Yellow Fever. Racism and social injustice in America gets brought into the light as disease causes citizens to hate one another. In the Wideman’s Fever the author discusses the issue thematically by using the rhetorical device of imagery and the use of the objects such as trash and water to help elaborate the micro aggressions …show more content…
Wideman talks about the fever infecting the waters that connect each person to one another, it is a pollutant that causes the water to dry up. The drought leaves behind the ruin of a nation that is ruled by hate or the fever. The fever is taking control over the body, causing us to die one by one resulting in “the city slowly deteriorated, as if it, too, could suffer the terrible progress of the disease” (Wideman 129). The fever is also related to micro aggressions that occur in America towards minorities daily. It may not be shown most of the time, but it is still in the secret places in our hearts, even in death “The doctors believe they can find the secret of the fever in the victims' dead bodies” (Wideman 145). The use of water, trash, and rights are the pattern in this passage that is connected to racism. The tone throughout the section of the book is despairing since there is so much negative emotions that occur throughout the section, such as This city had grown ancient and fallen into ruin in two months since early August, when the first cases of fever appeared” (Wideman

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