The Representation of African Americans in Contemporary American Culture

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In the Contemporary period that Recitatif, I Have A Dream was made, the biggest challenges that African-American still faced are racism and oppression. In “I Have a Dream” the speech narrated African-American are struggling for their rights and freedom. The color of the skin is not important. All black and white should join hands to achieve the rights that they should have. In Recitatif, Although the two main characters are friends but the others are not. The friendship of the characters although they have different races makes racism diminished.

but that is what we can see from the short story. Actually we cannot see any progress in the conditions of a black person’s life in spite of an era that has changed. Although we move from one time period to another, Racism still exists. People still abuse African American people in many ways such as teasing, they think it just a joke, but this action that they did can be seen as racism.

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From Recitatif, we can glean some solutions such as Not ignoring the violent actions that weaker people are encountering. In the short story, there has a situation that Maggie is Being bullied by the gar girls. Although the main character, Twyla and Roberta saw this situation, they were not going to help maggie come out from the gar girls. If they helped Maggie, they probably wouldn’t have a trauma that they can remember until today.

In the modern period, most of the modern Literary works is break from the style, form, content of the 19th century.

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Poets in this period want to make their works differ from previous period literary works or we called that they make it new. Ezra Pound is the founder of Imagist. Imagism is a type of poetry that describes images with simple language, a great focus, a rhythm like a musical phrase, and an image that produces the emotions that speak for itself which is clearly different from the poems in the previous period that was used of tired poetic patterns, especially traditional stanza and meters. In “In the station of the Metro” of Ezra Pound, He used the word to show the image obviously. even though in the previous period, poets used too many words that took a long time to reach the point of the story. In Ernest Hemmingway’s works, he used literary devices like Pound’s works such as simple language and dialogue. In “Hill Like White Elephants” of Hemmingway, He did not make a fixed plot and did not have a conclusion of the story. He wants the readers to think with him that what the conclusion of the story is. William Faulkner obviously breaks from those of the 19th-century writers/poets. “In A Rose for Emily” of Faulkner, he did not put the stream of consciousness and experimental into the story but he made a new fictitious world, Yoknapatawpha county.

We can see that Naturalism is different from Realism because Realism portrays life the way it actually is. but Naturalism focuses on relaying truth that is brutal than Realism. Human is the victim of fate or destiny. Naturalism also focuses on Determinism. Naturalist thinks that everything is determined by that person’s condition. Human life is like an animal. Everyone is struggling to survive.

For the work of Crane “The Open Boat”, he used the idea of Naturalism that “Man is a victim of faith” and out of despair. Man cannot challenge fate. What kind of person were you born? You must be like that. For the work of Wharton “Roman Fever”, he narrated realism. he portrayed the realistic life of upper-class people that could actually occur. Every event in the story is feasible. Actually Realism is more concerned with the real world outside their psyches. For the work of Henry James “Daisy Miller”, James narrated psychological realism that focuses on the mind of characters. He used first-person limited points of view such as I, We as the characters in the story. For the work of Twain “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn”, this work should be in the genre Realism because this story was narrated in a realistic form. But the genre that “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” is in is different from the rest because this story has the southern dialects to make the story more real.

American Dreams is freedom or a self-made man. American Dreams can be equally accessible to anyone if they are working hard. The Great Gatsby, It shows the failure of the American Dreams. Actually Gatsby’s dream is to love Daisy. But It is a failure because they have differences in social status. In Daisy Miller of Henry James, It shows the new world American values of the main character, Daisy. Daisy is a straightforward woman. In the story, we can see that she changed her name from Annie to Daisy. Changing the name is in the American values that show freedom of herself and It is regarded as the American Dream. In The Things They Carried, It shows the characters are fighting for American Dreams. “borne back ceaselessly into the past” in the Great Gatsby shows Chasing the dream of Gatsby is going back to the past because of the American Dreams that base on the wealthy. Going back to purity can be an impossible dream.

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The Representation of African Americans in Contemporary American Culture. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from

The Representation of African Americans in Contemporary American Culture

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