The Coming of Age in Mississippi Analysis

The Coming of Age in Mississippi Analysis - 00000 1...

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00000 1 00000000 Prof. John Ryan HIST 1378, Sec 0102 2 August 2007 The Coming of Age in Mississippi Anne Moody does not write her literary novel, The Coming Age in Mississippi , as a fictional piece of work, but as an autobiography of the hardships and prejudice of her personal life in the mid-twentieth century. Her experiences with the NAACP and CORE fall in harmony with historical events in the 1960’s along side many central figures of the civil rights movement. However, Moody’s plight is unique in that she draws her writing from her family background that is prejudiced by both whites and lighter skinned blacks due to their darker appearance and lower class status. Moody’s novel brings attention back to civil rights for African-Americans at a time when a majority of the American public are concerned with the Vietnam War and political affairs. She writes in a time when the federal government legally ensures equal rights but does nothing to enforce them; when private owners and bogus tests segregate public buildings and political polls despite new repeals of Jim Crow laws and a new Voting Rights Act; when entire families were reduced to tenant farming of white Southern landowners. In her novel, Moody calls for action to replace nonviolent demonstrations and understanding to replace racism. Moody’s novel begins in her Mississippian hometown of Wilkerson County with her father, mother, sister, and uncle. In the first chapter of the literary piece, Moody seemingly uses her family to symbolize the economic struggles of her entire rice. She does this by comparing the similarities of her family and other family units on on the Carter
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00000 2 Family ranch. Moody’s describes of her hardships depicts the sufferings that were common in the rural South of Mississippi. She describes her living arrangements as a “rotten wood two room shack” with her parents working from morning to dusk (1). She contrasts the Black Quarters with the big white house with electricity and indoor plumbing of the Carter household to subtly make a statement of the unfairness in which skin color determined power and wealth. The novel moves on with the hardships of family as Moody’s father, Diddly, moves out because he is unable to take the pressures of raising a growing family. Diddly’s difficulty in his role as a father is seems to be common in the black community at
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course HIST 1378 taught by Professor Buzzanco during the Summer '06 term at University of Houston.

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The Coming of Age in Mississippi Analysis - 00000 1...

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