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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