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Baldwin-Cisneros Essay

  • Submitted by: ikibando
  • on October 4, 2012
  • Category: History
  • Length: 362 words

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Below is an essay on "Baldwin-Cisneros" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

When looking at James Baldwin’s argumentative essay If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? And then comparing it to Sandra’s Cisneros’ work Little Miracles, Kept Promises, one might think that they are two completely different animals when but when thoroughly examined, one will be able to see some similarities and ideological ties behind the two author’s pieces. Baldwin’s essay orbits around the idea of cultural identity through language and how language can be used in life. Cisneros’ piece on the other hand, is a collection of stories that praise and give thanks to religious figures and saints. So how can the two be tied together? Well first of all, their views are very strong and loud. Baldwin rants in his essay that the whites are too blame for the uneducated African Americans and the formation of the dialect: black language, which Baldwin intensely argues that it is not a dialect and the term dialect is offensive “white people in American never had any interest in educating black people, except as this could serve white purposes” (pg. 264).
Cisneros explains in one of her passages the desire for a “man man,” which through the person’s eyes is someone who can cook and clean – shadowing a female’s role which is something completely opposite of modern society’s expectations. And also, through Cisneros’ work, the reader can identify who the people are who are giving thanks, just by their language phrases (in Spanish) – “venimos desde muy lejos, infinitas gracias, senor. Gracias por habernos eschuchado” (pg. 275) and you can also get a glimpse of what their class is, religious beliefs ( senor in Spanish refers to the Lord) and level of poverty. Baldwin could use this example with his idea that language reveals the self: “It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity” (pg. 262).
James Baldwin views language as “a political...

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