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EthnicLiteratureFinalEssay - Michael Kjome April 2 2009...

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Michael Kjome April 2, 2009 American Ethnic Literature A Place in the Community In Their Eyes Were Watching God the oscillation involving Standard English and the African-American dialect parallel one of the novels central themes, the domination and control of language. Jody Starks takes advantage of his masculine influence in order to control language for status and political conquest. Attempting to buy, create, and control the world around him. From the opening passage “Ships at a distance” we can see that Jody’s ship comes in, but his success and display of wealth and power alienates the city. He is viewed as an oppressive black master whom they thought they escaped. Jody Starks’s money and aspiration give him power and wealth, ultimately integrating himself into the community. Jody shows his control of language when he speaks with the residents of the Florida town upon arrival. Using his communication skills to uncover Eatonville’s situation, while Janie stands behind him silently. Using his voice to motivate the townspeople, he announces a town meeting after the purchases of an additional two hundred acres. The ability he has to convey this message excites the town and rallies
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