ENglish paper 2

ENglish paper 2 - Schwarz 1 Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF...

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Schwarz 1 Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF Mr.O’Brien 22 February 2011 Perception A Chinese proverb states, “Don’t be over self confidant with your first impressions of people.” Humans tend to judge so rapidly that first impressions constantly seem to be false. In Sonata Mulattica by Rita Dove, the opinions of characters are based off of more than just an initial reaction or quick judgment. The talented prodigy, George Bridgetower, requires an in depth analysis. Through Dove’s voice as a narrator and through her voice as various characters, Dove formulates her attitudes toward Bridgetower. Upon first impression, Dove regards Bridgetower as a phenomenon and regards Bridgetower as possibly “one of the most revered musical virtuosos of all time” (15). Yet as the novel evolves, Dove generates a noticeably unfavorable opinion of Bridgetower. Dove sheds negative light on Bridgetower’s race and portrays Bridgetower as a helpless, troubled, and dejected character with no purpose. Early on, Bridgetower is deemed a spectacle and is referred to by Beethoven as “a lunatic angel” (111). Nonetheless, whenever Bridgetower is a subject of conversation, his African roots always factor in. In the introduction piece titled “The Bridgetower,” Dove hypothesizes, “If he hadn’t been/ dark…if he hadn’t grown up, undistinguished” (19). Immediately as Bridgetower is introduced to the audience, Dove mentions Bridgetower’s skin tone and social standing. Dove implies that if Bridgetower had not been black, then the probability of him maintaining fame would have been far greater. When Dove speaks through Beethoven’s character, Beethoven affirms, “…though dipped in ink, this Jacob/ has grappled the shining messenger/ for a glimpse
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Schwarz 2 of heaven/ and won the battle: Entirely master/ of his instrument, he climbs the strings/ agile as the monkeys from his father’s land” (111). From this declaration, it is important to note that it is not amazing that Bridgetower is so musically proficient. Bridgetower is remarkable because he is
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ENglish paper 2 - Schwarz 1 Rachel Schwarz ENG 112-NF...

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