Essay on Shirley Chisholm 's I 'd Rather Be Black Than Female

Essay on Shirley Chisholm 's I 'd Rather Be Black Than Female

Length: 811 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Shirley Chisholm’s “I’d Rather Be Black Than Female,” she presents an examination of race and gender in politics. Chisholm was a black woman involved in politics, which led her to the conclusion that being black is preferable to being a woman. To substantiate the conclusion, Chisholm provides examples of racism and sexism from personal and observed experience.
The primary purpose of “I’d Rather Be Black Than Female” is expressive. The first sentence of the essay, “the first black woman elected to Congress” (409), provides an historical context for the reader and a self-definition of Chisholm. Later the in essay, Chisholm adds more detail about her political career by writing “I have been active in politics for more than twenty years” (409). By self-definition, Chisholm is introduced as a seasoned politicians, who has struggled against patriarchal expectations of female behavior. In terms of expressing her values, Chisholm is dedicated to civil rights and feminism. Chisholm writes about whites indifference towards racial prejudice until “blacks finally started to ‘mention’ it, with sit-ins, boycotts, and freedom rides” (409). Another topic, related to feminism, is the lack of high-ranking political offices held by women, “No women sit on the Supreme Court. Only two have held Cabinet rank, and none do at present. Only two women hold ambassadorial rank” (410). The essay concludes with why Chisholm’s values women in politics: “It is women who can bring empathy, tolerance, insight, patience, and persistence to the government” (411).
Emotional responses are another characteristic of the expressive purpose. Chisholm uses emotional responses through emotional language, such as “love” (411), when describing her opinions on teaching, a...

... middle of paper ... Female,” Shirley Chisholm primarily uses the expressive purpose to convey her opinions and experience of racism and sexism, specifically in politics. By utilizing self-definition, emotional responses, expression of values, and first-person pronouns, Chisholm paints a picture of injustice and inequality. The referential purpose is secondary, but contributes to the essay by explaining and expanding on the topic of women in politics. In terms of pattern, the essay uses classification with the subgroup of comparison/contrast. By using comparison/contrast, Chisholm provides the reader with examples of women treated as second-class citizens versus blacks being treated as second-class citizens. The comparisons/contrasts include societal expectations of racial and gender roles. Chisholm uses the purposes and patterns to make a case for equality within the political sphere.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

- Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story littered with warnings and subtext about the dangers a submissive society can pose. While the opening is deceptively cheery and light Jackson uses an array of symbols and ominous syntax to help create the apprehensive and grim tone the story ends with. Her portrayal of the town folk as blindly following tradition represents the world during World War II when people’s failure to not mindlessly accept and heed authority lead to disastrous consequences. . Shirley Jackson uses a large array of techniques to help convey the idea that recklessly following and accepting traditions and orders can lead to disastrous consequences....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
1487 words (4.2 pages)

Symbolism Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

- Symbolism Found in “The Lottery” “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a story filled with symbolism from beginning to end. The name itself gives away one of the most important symbols that the story envelops. What makes the story so much more interesting and entertaining is that the reader must explore the symbolism found in the story and give their own explanations because the author does not give a straightforward answer. The story lacks simple answers to questions and requires more thought out responses and the reader is expected to come up with what he/she believes to be the answer....   [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

- The Lottery Shirley Jackson was a criticized female writer that wrote about US’s scramble for conformity and finding comfort in the past or old traditions. When Jackson published this specific short story, she got very negative feedback and even death threats. In the fictionial short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, a drawing takes place during the summer annually in a small town in New England. In this particular work, the lottery has been a tradition for over seventy years and has been celebrated by the townspeople every year....   [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Short story]

Better Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

The Lottery By Shirley Jacksons Essay

- Shirley Jacksons short story The Lottery was published in 1948 displaying the corrupt society and superstitions that transpired at the time. Throughout the story we are mislead as to what the theme is, however once Tessie Hutchinson gets blinded by the rocks, things become transparent. Not saying anything, says a lot is an important theme that was concluded due to the danger of being immune to traditions, and feeling inferior to societies brutal rules. Jackson provided multiple foreshadowed events and irony that intertwined to make the story 's plot more suspenseful....   [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
1157 words (3.3 pages)

The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

- A gathering of neighbors on a bright sunny day may seem like a fun, summer picnic; however, Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” proves this setting to be something more malevolent. Jackson builds suspense in the short story by withholding any explanations and does not reveal the true tradition of the lottery until the first stone hits Tessie’s head. She disguises small but certain indicators that something more ominous will happen in the story. It is only after the fact readers understand them as clues of doom....   [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

- Written by Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” is a short story about a town that hosts an annual lottery that decides which person is stoned by the rest of the town. Jackson slowly and subtly builds the suspense throughout the story, only resolving the mystery surrounding the lottery at the very last moment, as the townspeople surround Tessie with their stones. The symbolism utilized helps demonstrate the overall significance of the story, such as the lottery itself. The lottery shows the way people desperately cling to old traditions, regardless of how damaging they may be....   [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

- In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, tradition is seen as very high and something to be respected not to be messed with. Although, the lottery has been removed from other towns, the village where the story is set in still continues to participate in the lottery. It is almost as if the other towns realized the lack of humanity in the tradition. However, the village still continues with the lottery even though the majority of the ritual has been lost or changed. The oldest man in the village complains about how the lottery is not what it used to be....   [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]

Better Essays
1117 words (3.2 pages)

Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery       "The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice.  The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens.  On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate.  Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice.  Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about.  Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is...   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

- Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948. The story takes place in a village square of a town on June 27th. The author does not use much emotion in the writing to show how the barbaric act that is going on is look at as normal. This story is about a town that has a lottery once a year to choose who should be sacrificed, so that the town will have a plentiful year for growing crops. Jackson has many messages about human nature in this short story....   [tags: The Lottery Shirley Jackson Sacrifices Essays]

Better Essays
696 words (2 pages)

Shirley Jackson's Symbolism in The Lottery Essay

- Shirley Jackson's Symbolism in The Lottery Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery', is a story that is filled with symbolism. The author uses symbolism to help her represent human nature as tainted, no matter how pure one thinks of himself or herself, or how pure their environment may seem to be. The story is very effective in raising many questions about the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and violence. 'The Lottery' clearly expresses Jackson's feelings concerning mankind?s evil nature hiding behind traditions and rituals....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)