Scarborough-E265L09-Essay1[1] - Copy

Scarborough-E265L09-Essay1[1] - Copy - Houston Scarborough...

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Houston Scarborough Dr. Rychetta Watkins Engl. 265 9/21/09 Refining the Vernacular A Continuum of Language Tradition The contrasting elements of vernacular traditions illuminates the sense of purpose behind prose and texts. The explication of literature leads to the understanding of appeals for normalcy and a situation which is in need of resolution. Ever changing social constraints inspired the societal critique by Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” and Ishamael Reed’s religious satire “Neo-HooDoo Manifesto.” The two works express their admiration for the changing times and reality versus idealized time. The abstract nature of “Neo-HooDoo Manifesto” plays on the evolution of time and parallels itself with the changing of times present in “Living for the City” and its story of disappointment. “Living for the City” has a connection to its listeners because it addresses the hard lining realities of success in America by utilizing the vernacular to bridge the gap of understanding. Wonder places the “city” as a pinnacle of success, a status of grandeur which closely parallels the ideals of the American Dream. All the way from “hard time Mississippi” comes a boy to the big city, only to discover it as being a lonely place. The performativity in this verse is relational on a level to any whom have aspired to make it to “the city.” Wonder portrays the city from the rural perspective as a place in which day to day is driven towards reaching the city for survival, yet perceived as a utopia of success. The contrasting lifestyles between Southern simplicity and the hectic urban environment
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are calling attention to the crumbling societal fibers of America. Family is emphasized in the opening stanzas of the song, which stresses the values of family and togetherness. Combined efforts of the mother, father, sister and brother culminate to project the life that
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Scarborough-E265L09-Essay1[1] - Copy - Houston Scarborough...

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