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ENGL 2200 Authors Need to Express Their Message Essay

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Spooner 1
Eric Spooner
ENGL-2200-06
10.3.2018
In literature, authors will from time to time need to express their message in such a way that it
makes them phrase their sentences in a certain way. It is not only sentences that are structured in
a particular way, but also each paragraph, chapters, as well as the entire writing piece. An
example of a type of piece that would need to do this is work done by slaves. Back then when
slavery was prevalent amongst the whites in the South, slaves would often write about their life
stories and experiences as well as how they would find a runaway to freedom in the North
region. A few portions of slaves were unable to do this when they were in the South just because
they did not know how to read or write, even though they could speak suitably to each other.
They had the underprivileged right of entry to any learning and recreation, to make sure that they
remain helpless, reliant and unschooled.
Occasionally, they would find an opportunity to sneak in and learn how to read and write, and
thus this was a gateway out to the North if they were to run away. If the unfortunate thing
happened and got caught, their owners would brutally punish them. Besides, they would be
treated harshly and cruelly. They went through all sort of cruelty because the Confederate
government allowed it. They were looked down upon as mediocre people who had no value and
preserved as objects. White people could not come to grips that people of color were also
humans. Even so, this makes it hard for people who never went through slavery and inhumane
treatment to share their story if they were to write about it, as it is almost something one needs to
experience to understand. However, on most occasions, authors tend to put themselves in such

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Spooner 2
positions as that of slaves to share their experiences, but they must use autoethnography to
convey their message. For instance, in the story, ‘The story Narrative of Fredrick Douglass’ by
Fredrick Douglass, he tells the story of his life both as a slave and a free man. Douglass uses
autoethnography, transculturation, and contact zones coined by Marie Louise Pratt to better
describe his story so we can understand how it was for slaves.
In Mary Louise Pratt piece of work titled ‘Arts of the Contact Zone, ‘she discusses various terms
which are useful for gaining knowledge of a fabricated piece. She further gives examples and
explanations of expressions like autoethnography, transculturation, and contact zones. Her essay
is largely about contact zones and how autoethnography and transculturation relate to contact
zones. In summary, this means that when a writer or an author uses autoethnography to write
literature, he or she uses the opinions and thoughts another culture has of them to tell us about
themselves. Transculturation is also a term that Pratt uses throughout her essay, and defines it as
transforming a culture due to a rise in new cultural aspects while existing aspects vanished. As
well, Pratt also tries to describe how Guaman Poma uses transculturation in his writing. The last
term that Pratt uses lengthily is contact zones. She defines it as an influential and authoritative
tool which is used to describe the differences in cultures in whatever they way writers use it.
Additionally, writers may not openly say there are contact zones, but using Pratt’s definition, we
can apply it to Fredrick Douglass’ story as a slave.
When Fredrick Douglass was young, he did not enjoy much of his childhood. At the tender age,
we are told that he could not afford clothing for himself as he was not old enough to work in the
fields on a plantation. Regrettably, he spent much of his time doing nothing entirely. Douglass
grew up on a plantation that was owned by a man named Mr. Severe who soon dies and as a
result, a new overseer, Mr. Hopkins, comes into play and takes over the plantation. The

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Spooner 1 Eric Spooner ENGL-2200-06 10.3.2018 In literature, authors will from time to time need to express their message in such a way that it makes them phrase their sentences in a certain way. It is not only sentences that are structured in a particular way, but also each paragraph, chapters, as well as the entire writing piece. An example of a type of piece that would need to do this is work done by slaves. Back then when slavery was prevalent amongst the whites in the South, slaves would often write about their life stories and experiences as well as how they would find a runaway to freedom in the North region. A few portions of slaves were unable to do this when they were in the South just because they did not know how to read or write, even though they could speak suitably to each other. They had the underprivileged right of entry to any learning and recreation, to make sure that they remain helpless, reliant and unschooled. Occasionally, they would find an opportunity to sneak in and learn how to read and write, and thus this was a gateway out to the North if they were to run away. If the unfortunate thing happened and got caught, their owners would brutally punish them. Besides, they would be treated harshly and cruelly. They went through all sort of cruelty because the Confederate government allowed it. They were looked down upon as mediocre people who had no value and preserved as objects. White people could not come to grips that people of color were also humans. ...
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