Death and We Real Cool Essay

Death and We Real Cool Essay

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Death and We Real Cool


"The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work" (Proverbs 21:25). The Bible makes a very clear statement in this passage as to how being lazy can be the cause of one’s death. "We Real Cool" is about seven African-American high school dropouts who want everybody else to think that they are cool. These teenagers explain how they stay out late playing pool, fighting, sinning and drinking. Though they think they have everybody else fooled, they know themselves that the destructive behavior they are taking part in will lead to their death. In "We Real Cool," Gwendolyn Brooks uses denotation and sound devices to suggest that although some African-Americans may often think of themselves as being cool for dropping out of school, they know in truth that dropping out will give them time to engage in sinful activities which will result in a broken, short life.

Brooks uses denotation to suggest that although some African-Americans may often think of themselves as being cool for dropping out of school they know in reality that dropping out will give them time to engage in sinful activities which will result in a broken, short life. "We real cool. We / Left school" (Lines 1-2). This explains how these African-American teenagers think that they are cool because they dropped out of high school. "We / Lurk late" (3-4). The facts that they lurk late just aids in understanding that these teenagers are dropouts because otherwise they would not be out as late. Not only are these young African-Americans dropouts who stay out late at night, they also get into fights. We / Strike straight" (3-4). While staying out late because they are dropouts, the teenagers talked about in t...


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...elves as being really cool on the outside because of the rebellious things they are taking part in and want others to picture them as being cool also. Though on the outside these kids think of themselves as cool and want to give that impression to others, they know the destructive things they are taking part in will soon be the cause of their abrupt death. Gwendolyn Brooks demonstrates in her poem, "We Real Cool," that even though people view and may acknowledge their own destructive behavior and often think of themselves as being cool, they know in reality their destructive actions will be the inevitable cause of their death.



Works Cited

The Bible. New International Version.

Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We Real Cool." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. New York: Harper, 1995. 740.



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