Posted: October 17th, 2013
How It Feels to Be Colored Me by Zora Neale Hurston
The essay by Zora Hurston touches on the controversial theme of racial discrimination. Zora speaks of her realization of the day she became colored, a term that was commonly used in the United States to refer to people of black skin and African origins. Zora describes an instance where colored people were passing through a street where they “were peered at cautiously from behind curtains by the timid…” (Nordquist 18-20). This stereotype was echoed throughout the education system, the residential areas and the public utilities and religious circles. Zora found herself in a worse position as a Negro who was also Indian in origin. This presented a situation in which either faction of whites and blacks could not fully accept her as one of their own. The association of Negroes with demeaning negative notions and qualities like slavery and poverty is a dominant aspect of the relationships in this society.
Two Ways to Belong in America
The publication discusses the unexpected disagreement between close blood relatives on the topic of immigration. The conflicts between these two individuals represent the battle between conservative and liberal ideas within society. One of the sisters has maintained her Indian roots despite getting acceptance as an American citizen. She is highly skeptical of her sister who despite coming from India has undergone a complete cultural transformation into an American woman. The pressure by cultural elements to comply with one’s origin, tribe, race or background affects individuals differently. Most people stick to their traditions despite opportunities to transform their mindsets while others embrace the change that is resented by new cultures and environments (Mukherjee line 33, 45-67)
Eric Schlosser in his essay Kid Kustomers talks about the approach by different companies to target children as a lucrative marketing niche. Advertisements are tailored to attract children who in turn compel or coerce their parents to engage in purchase. The desperate extent to which companies create characters that child relate with physically and mentally creates a generation of children that base their choices and decisions on pre-fabricated corporate fantasies. Companies such as Disney World and Budweiser exploit this juvenile weakness by manipulating children into whining, haggling and threatening their guardians for these products. Self-control and prudence among children is therefore low and transformation can be triggered by instilling independence and exposure to individuality (Schlosser 32-39).
Why Don’t We Complain?
Buckley addresses the erosion of privacy within the American environment because of technological advancement and increased government inclusion into the private lives of citizens. Technology has nearly eliminated the individual privacy within America by bridging the options that were previously rightfully awarded to individuals. The state is equally narrowing the instances in which it is still legal to deny their agencies the right to inspect premises, conduct investigations into private lives of people and monitor all other private aspects. Citizens have slowly accepted this intrusion of privacy as unavoidable within their lives without much complaint. Buckley also mentions the helplessness that most Americans find themselves in due to these changes. The surrendering of political voice and economic liberties is an example of the extent to which the ability to express oneself or complain is slowly diminishing in America (Fuller & Buckley 22-34).
Fuller & Buckley, William F.Jr. “Why Don’t We Complain?” 50 Essays. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 64-70. Print
Mukherjee, Bharati. “Two Ways to Belong in America”: New York Times. Web. September 22, 1996. Web accessed on 29 June 2012. Retrieved from www.hartlandhighschool.us
Nordquist, Richard. “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”.About.com. Web. 2012. Web accessed on 29 June 2012. Retrieved from http://grammar.about.com/od/60essays/a/theireyesessay.htm