Black Boy by Richard Wright and A Brief Introduction To The History Of The Deep South


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Compare the two texts an extract from Black Boy by Richard Wright and A Brief Introduction To The History Of The Deep South for:

1) Tone

2) Use of Language (Style)

3) Register (Degree of Formality or Informality)

Black Boy by Richard Wright is a personal recountive piece while A
Brief Introduction To The History Of The Deep South a piece of
expository writing.

In Black Boy, the narrator recalls and describes 2 incidents that
occurred on the same day which impacted his life and let him better
understand the Whites’ thoughts and how to react to them. The purpose
of the author is to let the reader understand situations that went on
at that time from the first-person point of view such that the reader
can comprehend the severity of the problem, and gives a few insights.
On the other hand, A Brief Introduction To The History Of The Deep
South illustrates briefly how Black slavery began and progressed in
the South. The purpose of the author is probably to inform the reader
on how racism progressed on a whole as a whole area, the south, rather
than to show real life situations that went on within the community.

In Black Boy, the tone is rather dissatisfied and has hints of
complaints, such as in “My face must have reflected my silent anger,
for the boss slapped me reassuringly on the back.” In this passage
some disgust of the narrator is also shown through even the eclipses
right after ‘ “Here have a cigarette,” he said.’ However, in A Brief
Introduction To The History Of The Deep South, the tone is
a-matter-of-factly as the narrator is merely presenting a set of
historical facts, with little bias or emotion, such as in “The
Southerners got very rich from these plantation farms making lots of
money.” In a way it becomes a more reciting tone as the history of the
Deep South is reported.

In Black Boy, words, especially adjectives and adverbs are used to
colour the writing, such as in “every fleeting expression” and “hot,
dusty road”. However, in A Brief Introduction To The History Of The
Deep South, adjectives and adverbs are used for precision of
information, as shown in “ruined plantation” and “brutal system”.
Another case would be “The Yankie Northerners beat the Southerners and
burnt and destroyed many of their beautiful big plantation houses”,
where “beautiful” is used not so much to colour the writing but to
show the massive contrast of before and after.

Black Boy is rather informal, as the narrator tells you the events of
a day in his life.

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Phrases like “one morning” and “When I went to the
rear of the store” show you that the narrator is merely telling you a
story. In A Brief Introduction To The History Of The Deep South, the
language is rather formal. Passive voice is used, such as in the case
of the first sentence, “The American Civil War was started as a fight
over the rights to use slaves” , rather than saying “The fight over
rights to use slaves started the American Civil War” or something
similar, as using passive voice would emphasize more on the American
Civil war and also make the tone more formal.


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