Position Paper 1

Position Paper 1 - Shahan 1 Kathryn Shahan Professor...

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Shahan 1 Kathryn Shahan Professor Eckford Position Paper #1 In evaluating literature as one does often during the study of it, understanding the background of the author is extremely important for the readers. The importance of understanding their background understands the true meaning behind the author’s work. Race, Gender, as well as sexual orientation may be extremely important to know about while reading in order to understand a piece of literature’s true purpose without judging it unnecessarily. Consider reading a story that a white man wrote from the point of view of a slave during pre civil war. While he talks about the long hours in the sun and being beaten by the master he cannot compete writing from a slave’s point of view versus what an actual slave might write, and if a white man does in all honesty, it is utterly disrespectful. They have not spent one day in these slaves’ shoes and therefore for them to write about how they feel and think is a forgery of literature. In reading Dunbar, through research find out that he is in fact an African-American, during the late 19 th century the readers can have a new appreciation for reading his work, because he was writing poetry during a time that educated African-Americans were hard to come by. In his work, he talks about being a slave since he was born right after the civil war ended, and even though they are considered free individuals they truly aren’t, “With torn and bleeding hearts we smile” (Dunbar, We wear the mask, 182). Dunbar can speak of how it feels to be a slave because he lived in the years after slavery and wrote about it. His parents were most likely slaves, and he understood the importance of writing with respect to them as well as others like them. Dialect as well has an important role in understanding a background of an author, when an author uses a
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Position Paper 1 - Shahan 1 Kathryn Shahan Professor...

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