James baldwin essay questions im lost need help!?

ok i have a problem i am completely lost on this assignment maybe someone can help me maybe giving key points or something Question: the paragraph below comes from a 1979 essay by expatriate african american writer james baldwin.Read the paragraph carefully and then write an essay that defends,challenges or qualifies baldwins ideas about the importance of language as a "key to identity "and social acceptance. use specific evidence from your observation, experience or reading to develope your position. Paragraph: It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. There have been, and are, times and places, where to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal. Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one's antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden. This is true in France, and absolutely true in England: The range (and reign) of accents on that damp little island make England coherent for the English and totally incomprehensible for everyone else. To open your mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to "put your business in the street": You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your parents, your self-esteem, and, alas, your future.



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One Response to “James baldwin essay questions im lost need help!?”

  1. bardane says:

    You’ll have to think of examples and evidence, but Baldwin is saying that how you speak can determine how you’ll be treated in some places. He means that people will make assumptions about you based on your choice of words (vocabulary) and accent. In England it is possible to tell from a person’s accent where he is from and how much education/money he has. In the States we can often tell where a person comes from when we hear them speak, and if we hear them use bad grammar or rude language, we make assumptions about the kind of person they are, which might not be true. You need to decide based on your experience, if Baldwin is right. Do we make judgements about people based on the way they speak?