Individual Struggles, but Shared Experiences Essay

Individual Struggles, but Shared Experiences Essay

Length: 870 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Undeniable is the diversity of the African-American experience in America. Although we share in similar ancestry and, for some, skin pigmentation, there still exist many differences not only about how we define ourselves individually, but also how we see ourselves through the eyes of others and the kaleidoscope of varying experiences that we have. These different experiences, further, become made known to the world in the aesthetic expressions of writers and artists. Most notable examples include, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and—most recently—Beyond Katrina by Natasha Trethewey. All of these recognized scholarly expressions attempt to articulate, in some way, the consummate experiences of an individual.
Moreover, although experiences vary, there are those which may be shared by African-Americans collectively. Using Trethewey’s Beyond Katrina as a primary example, one may find specific themes which are shared collectively by people of African descent, and those include the effect of the absence of the familial male, tragedy as a motivating force for African-Americans, and the history of America as told by the oppressor.
Among the many pervasive themes in Trethewey’s Beyond Katrina is the effect of the absence of the familial male. Natasha’s brother is incarcerated for the entire duration of the book, however it does not appear so considering the amount of the letters that they exchange. Although he is locked away, he still has an obvious presence in her life. This serves as a direct distinction between many other African-Americans today in realization that most families now develop in the absence of black male figures. In a letter written between Joe and Natasha, the context around which Joe fo...


... middle of paper ...


...us to our past and remind us across time and space how we are alike, not that we are different” (Transcripts for Poems). These connecting experiences sometime involve the absence of a male figure. They, for Blacks, almost always has value in tragedy as a motivating force, of the most obvious tragedies in slavery. Finally, transcending class, race, or ethnicity is the distortion of history preventing the development of the collective memory.



Works Cited

Charles, Ron. “U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey: Poetry still matters.” Washington Post. 2 May, 2013. Washingtonpost.com. 6 April, 2014.

Transcript for Poems, History and Memory with Natasha Trethewey. ttbook.org. 6 April, 2014.

Trethewey, Natasha. Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010. Project MUSE. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. http://muse.jhu.edu/

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Social Impact Of Video Game On An Individual Essay

- The remark of social impacts that video game has on an individual is considerably constructive for the development of the modern civilization. There is a critical acclaimed Japanese novel called Sword Art Online, in which revolves around the story of a teenage boy who got trapped in the “game” through a virtual reality helmet that stimulates the user 's five senses via their brain, along with more than a thousand other players. Since the developer behind the whole scheme prevents people from logging out with an electric-shock penalty the moment they try to take off the gear, the protagonist does not have any other choice but to continue the adventure in order to complete the game....   [tags: Video game, Video game industry, Game designer]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay on Individual Bonus Or Shared Bonus?

- Individual bonus or Shared bonus. Introduction Choi (2013) argued that offering bonus will lead positively affect on workers’ beliefs and effort. To introduce how to pay bonus more effectively, this essay will begin by illustrating some representative types of bonus. Following this, it will compare the team-based reward and individual reward system and analyses their advantages and drawbacks respectively by using some examples and citations. And at the end of the article, it will give a recommend option, the combined bonus, to the managers to improve the organisations’ productivities....   [tags: Reward system, Brain stimulation reward, Dopamine]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Individual Identity And Individual Identities

- Individual identity is how an individual relates to them self, as well as how others relate to the individual (Bessant & Watts 2002, p.153). This occurs as other people reflect back to us their impression of ourselves (Plummer 2010, p.22). Indeed, the body is central to how our self is recognised by others and how we derive our identities (Back et al. 2012, p.98). Individual identities are shaped in various ways, such as with others’ belief in essentialism – the assumption that all people of a certain group have the same characteristics (Bessant & Watts 2002, p.154), or via face-to-face relationships (Back et al....   [tags: Sociology, Individual, Identity formation]

Better Essays
1744 words (5 pages)

Childhood Struggles versus Adulthood Responsibilities Essay

- As each individual explores reality, they stumble upon obstacles which eventually transforms them into the best version of themselves. The influential key is to have the fortitude and the ability to forgive with benevolence. "Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind the stronger the trees." My eyes glew with intensity when the I first heard of this quote. The concept of this quote could not explain me any better. To me I believe struggles make people grow stronger and intelligent....   [tags: struggles, changes, camp, role, family]

Better Essays
583 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Personal Experiences Reflected in Metamorphosis by Gregor Samsa

- Topic 2 Writing, like other forms of art, draws upon an artist’s inspirations. Either subtly or overtly, an artist’s interactions and perception of the world influences their piece. Franz Kafka, born into a Jewish family in Prague, incorporated many of his life experiences into his work The Metamorphosis. The Metamorphosis presents many connections between the life of the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, and Kafka himself. Some literary analysts claim it serves as an outlet for his distraught life....   [tags: Struggles, Depressio, Family]

Better Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

Art As a Shared Experience Essay

- Art, even in its simplest form, has a culture embedded on it. It cannot be separated from the artist’s way of life. It differentiates a culture from all the rest and defines itself to an extent where nobody but the artist can even grasp. Traces of art forms have been identified alongside the evolution of mankind and flourished since the establishment of civilizations. These earlier art masterpieces in the form of sculptures, cave paintings, petroglyphs and the like were found from different parts of the world....   [tags: Art Appreciation]

Better Essays
1424 words (4.1 pages)

Society 's Influence On Older Individuals And Their Experiences Of Aging

- Communities can significantly impact older individuals and their experiences of aging. The manner in which older individuals are treated throughout the world is an excellent example of this. No one culture is the same, but they all have a unique way of impacting the aging individuals that are a part of them. These ways of acting and interacting with older adults are influenced by society’s beliefs towards these aging individuals in regards to isolation, which in reality, can be quite similar cross-culturally....   [tags: Old age, Gerontology, Ageing, Retirement]

Better Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Pop Culture And Individual Identity Essay

- Does what you like define your individual identity. To begin with, the definition of identity is the state of being oneself and no one else (Merriam-Webster). Your identity is what distinguishes you from other people. It is what makes you unique and extraordinary. Without a sense of identity, it would be quite difficult to tell people apart. Although everyone may start off with the same, blank canvas, as we age, we all go through experiences and changes that help contribute to each and every one of our personal identities....   [tags: Person, Individual, Definition, Science fiction]

Better Essays
1103 words (3.2 pages)

Shared Womanhood Essay

- After the Korean War in 1953, the United States military installed military bases in South Korea to protect the war ravaged country. Many see military presence as a kindness or benevolence, however not many know about the hidden consequences of having a military base close by. Although having a military presence does help protect a nation like South Korea from North Korea or Japan from China, not everyone benefits from this protection. The people that suffer because of militarization anywhere are less privileged women with no other choice....   [tags: Women's Rights]

Better Essays
1489 words (4.3 pages)

The Individual Experience in a World of Categories Essay

- The Individual Experience in a World of Categories Lakoff and Johnson argue for an embodied mind, saying that our categories are based on how we experience the world through our bodies. According to this theory, as a result of their different anatomies, men and women would experience the world differently and their categories would be inherently different. Also, it would be expected that all women would share the same categories. Our class and our discussions have demonstrated a diversity of opinions and methods of categorization that refute this part of Lakoff and Johnson's argument....   [tags: Sociology Sociological Essays]

Free Essays
1716 words (4.9 pages)