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Compare and Contrast Essay

In the world today things have majorly and severely changed. On the one hand we no longer have slavery, but on the other there is another type of slavery going on in cooperate businesses. In these two essays I chose and plan to tell you about the oppression in “Caged Bird” (Angelou, M.) and the oppression in “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak officer” (Lutz, W.) which he shows with the firing of people. Oppression whether by a slaves masters or by the leaders of major corporations, can cause a person to lose their freedom, job, and personal security.

In Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird”, she is speaking of a slave that cannot do as the free man, they can go anywhere and do anything, and all the slave can do is dream and sing of that freedom he wishes he could have. When she says the caged bird sings with a fearful trill of thing unknown, I think she is speaking of the slave not knowing whether he will be whipped, or even if he were to become free what would he do. (Lutz, W.) made me feel like the underdogs have no freedom. The slave masters were oppressors!

William Lutz is saying we are never free (technically). In his essay he is speaking of how the leaders of these corporations are changing names and making words and phrases sound better than they actually are. Like if a company is downsizing, they would use an “Outplacement Consultant” or an “Unemployment Counselor” to help the company with “Re-employment Engineering” or more technically to help any kind of employee to find another job. He is literally talking about all the names they give themselves, or the names to make what they are doing not sound so awful! To me the leaders are oppressing the workers inside their particular corporations.


From the essay “Life Under the Doublespeak Chief Officer” (Lutz, W., Para 9.) he states the greatest line from any book, essay, or poem I have ever read or heard. His quote states: “How do I fire thee? Let me count the ways”. (This quote made me laugh so hard!). “One company denied it was laying off 500 people at its headquarters. “We don’t characterize it as a layoff,” said the corporate doublespeak (sometimes called a spin doctor). “We’re managing our staff resources. You’ve just been managed down, you staff resource you.” “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak officer” (Lutz, W. pg2, para 11.) See what I mean about the oppression in these corporations.

The summary I choose is from “Caged Bird” (Angelou, M., Para 2) She says “But a bird that stalks, down his narrow cage, can seldom see through, his bars of rage, his wings are clipped, his feet are tied, so he opens his throat to sing”. What she is speaking of is a slave, trapped in his master’s cage, meaning forced labor. The slave is so enraged but his hands are tied, he is forced to do as his master commands. When the caged bird (the slave) is singing, he is singing the songs of slavery. For example, “Hard Trails” and some of the lyrics are “Now ain’t them hard trails, great tribulations, Hard trials, hard trials, I am bound to leave this land.” Most of these songs were about the Lord saving them.

The paraphrase I chose is from “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak Officer” Lutz, W., (pg 1, Para 8)“No one gets fired these days, and no one gets laid off. If you are high enough in the corporate pecking order, you “resign for personal reasons.” (And then you’re never unemployed; you’re just in an “orderly transition between career changes.”)”

In my opinion both of these essays have so much in common with each other. (Lutz, W.) makes me feel that the corporate world is becoming nothing but slavery now. Whereas, (Angelou, M.) is COMPARE/CONTRAST 02/07/2014

literally speaking of being caged like a bird and what she means is being a slave who is shackled by their master. In (Lutz, W.) he makes me feel locked in a corporate cage in a job that I can’t get away from and have to slave away at. (Angelou, M.) She does give us a sense and taste of freedom by stating in her poem; “the free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own but a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.” This one quote from her makes me feel much less oppressed than both essays that I read put together.

Maya Angelou had the best way of expressing the oppression I felt within both essays. She not only made me feel caged but she also made feel free. Not only were we oppressed by a master of a slave but also by the leaders of major corporations, with this I showed you how a person can lose their freedom, job, and personal security. Oppression is the worst thing imaginable. If you were to read both essays I am sure you would feel the feelings similar to my own. Although, you might have a different reaction to “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak Officer” (Lutz, W.) than I did. Most of all “Caged Bird” (Angelou, M.) was the best.

Angelou, M. “Caged Bird”
Lutz, W. “Life Under the Chief Doublespeak Officer”


Connell, C. M. & Sole, K (2013) Essentials of College Writing (2nd ed) San Diego, CA. Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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