Volker Schlöndorff

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    Oxford dictionary defines privilege to be “A special right, advantage, or immunity, granted or available only to a particular person or group of people” (Oxford CITE). Very clearly, privilege provides benefits to certain individuals. Privilege is comprised of various factors, including wealth, reputation, gender, race, etc. In the poem “Face of a Political Candidate on a Billboard”, Charles Bukowski’s political candidate constructed his privilege by overlapping wealth, family, and self-image. Through media, society creates standards of what people believe to be success. This poem demonstrates how privilege creates a system of oppression that gives the privileged an advantage to success. The candidate’s wealth gives him a substantial advantage in the election. Wealth has the ability to influence reputation, which is a component of privilege. The candidate uses his wealth to fine-tune his life in ways that appeal to the popular standards of success. Going through the poem there are several examples that suggest the candidate is between middle and upper-middle class. The speaker states that not only does he have “a car one year old”, “ insurance policies”, but also “a very green lawn”. When envisioning this, I see a white middle class man who lives a somewhat luxurious life. He drives an up-to-date vehicle, which is likely very expensive. He also has insurance policies that could cover life, home and car. The fact that he has insurance shows that he values his possessions which…

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