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Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle - Book Report/Review Example

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Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle – Ossian Sweet’s Battle Introduction This essay attempts to analyze the character of Ossian Sweet of the book “Arc of Justice”, penned down by Kevin Boyle. For this purpose, the essay would focus on the experiences of Sweet pertaining to his younger days, so that his actions when confronted with the adversity can be fully understood…
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Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle

Download file to see previous pages... Before moving on to the analysis of the central character (Ossian Sweet) of this true story, it won’t be out of place in making a brief mention of pertinent background details. Background “During the September of 1925, a mob comprising of whites attacked the residence of Ossian Sweet, who was a black doctor having his home in a locality occupied by whites. He anticipated in advance that this attack would take place, and hence requested help from the local police. But when the white residents started resorting to violence, the police personnel remained as just silent spectators. Hence, purely for the purpose of self-defense, Ossian Sweet and his people responded to the rampaging mob in the form of an armed attack. In this act of self-defense, one person of the mob was killed and another was grievously injured. As a result, charges of first degree murder were framed against Ossian Sweet and his group. As a matter of fact, it was this particular case that strengthened the movement of civil rights in America.” (1) An Understanding of the Character of Ossian Sweet To begin with, there should not be any hesitation in maintaining that Ossian Sweet was a highly courageous man, full of self confidence. A succinct elaboration on his background goes on to show that the statement is in no way an exaggeration. “Since his childhood days Ossian Sweet, whose ancestors were slaves, has been necessitated to struggle in the midst of adverse living conditions. It was only after lot of hard work and fighting with the discrimination to which he was subjected to that he succeeded in becoming a doctor – a revered individual of middle class. He witnessed several gruesome incidents of violence where, the victims were the blacks.” (1) The past life of Ossian Sweet is of utmost relevance both for fully comprehending the crux of this story and also gaining an insight into his character. It is solely because he had to endure severe hardships in his younger days that he developed immense mental strength. “For instance, Sweet pursued and attained his academic goals, by doing various menial jobs.” There is every possibility that, during that phase, he definitely must have been exposed to several ugly facets of apartheid. As it is he was a young boy, and in addition, his racial background also turned out to be a major hindrance for his various endeavors. Surely, when Ossian Sweet was a young boy, at least on few instances, he must have been at the receiving end of arrogance of the whites. (1) In spite of the fact that his academic achievements ensured him a place in the section of middle class, yet, he could not cut himself away from his past. “The horrific experiences of his younger days where, he witnessed blacks becoming victims of extreme brutality were permanently etched in his memory”. (1) At this point, a highly crucial aspect is of worthy mention. After shifting to Garden Avenue, some fear was very much there in the mind of Ossian Sweet, and the same is chiefly attributable to his perturbing experiences as a child. “And when the white residents of the neighborhood started to intimidate him, obviously, his anxieties increased even more, and justifiably so.” But the key point is that, because of those very bad memories, his mind could display the strength needed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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