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Language - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date The Role of Language according to Kincaid and Baldwin Kincaid’s novel A Small Place is a piece that reflects the circumstances that have resulted in Antigua as due to post-colonialism effects. Kincaid describes what has become of her birthplace…
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Language

Download file to see previous pages... Kincaid finds displeasure in the speech incompetence of the Antigua young people and the island at large for adopting the language of its colonizers. Baldwin highlights the development of Black English and the role it plays in society. This paper will compare the view of the two authors concerning the role of language. Baldwin’s essay draws the attention of the reader. He elaborates the situations preceding the development of Black English. He offers background information about the status of people of color as slaves. Slavery brought them together in the American continent. These slaves came from different parts of Africa. Because of their diversity, they spoke different languages. These slaves shared only one thing and this was the sad reality about the plights due to slavery. Slavery presented them with a need to communicate. The white man was not willing to educate the people of color unless it was for his benefit. There was a dire need for people to learn a language that would promote communication. Circumstances of being under slavery presented them with similar interests. They needed to have one voice for them to conquer the wits of the white people. They had to develop a unique form of communication so that the white man could not automatically understand. As Baldwin explains, any word spoken, revealed a lot about an individual’s life. ...
The black people used language to express their grievances. In the unique language that resulted, blacks used expressions that depicted the passion for living life despite the circumstances that they were facing. For example, the author elaborates one of the words they used that had great significance in later years. The word jazz resulted from the black man’s creativity and was essentially applicable in sexual contexts. It was a unique way of the black man’s expression. In addition, Baldwin illustrates the effect of Black English among the white people. The word ‘jazz’ mentioned above influenced the music of an entire era. White Americans used the word to define the musical in which jazz music was common. They referred to it as the jazz age. Black English proved its potential to influence the culture of the white people. It was initially a language used by the oppressed to express their experience, but it delved deeper into influencing both the black and white culture. With time, whites borrowed words from this language to include in their culture. From the essay, it becomes evident that the core role of language is to present its speakers with a mode of communication that enables them to describe their experience. A society without language cannot achieve common goals. According to Baldwin, it is obvious that if the slaves brought to America could speak a similar language, history would be different. The slavery era would have been shorter. Baldwin reckons the reader to examine the role played by Black English. It has built the black community in the United States binding them closely. Through a common language, they have written history of slavery and described their struggle for liberty. Evidently, one ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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