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Du Bois The Soul Of Black Folk The significance of the veil - Essay Example

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Du Bois’ collection of fourteen essays in his work ‘The Soul of Black Folk’ uses the veil as a metaphor for race,specifically the blacks in America.He stresses on the social significance of race.He uses race in a way that the biological differences become insignificant and the veil gains prominence. …
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Download file to see previous pages Du Bois’ collection of fourteen essays in his work ‘The Soul of Black Folk’ uses the veil as a metaphor for race, specifically the blacks in America. He stresses on the social significance of race. He uses race in a way that the biological differences become insignificant and the veil gains prominence. The veil in the work functions as a symbol which indicates the invisible identity of the black Americans and the distinction between the skin colors which lead to the hindrances faced by the blacks in a white dominated society. The veil in which they are wrapped up prevents them from gaining self-consciousness. Du Bois composed the essays at a time when slavery was officially abolished but traces of their misfortunes still remained. He begins the first chapter by saying that he has to step within the veil as well as without to expose the worlds of both the whites and blacks. When a woman rejects his card he understands that a vast veil separates the two worlds and that he is different form them. Presumably the author is black and the woman he refers to is white, thereby signifying the separation of the racial worlds. He points out the disasters of the early years of black children and the opportunities which were preserved for the whites while the ‘Negro race’ lay deprived of all these. The veil has also been compared to a prison-house, which “closed round about us all” (Du Bois, 4)...
Du Bois attempts therefore to encourage the people to live above this veil and not behind it. The veil could also be supposed as a metaphor to signify lack of education, which generates wisdom and realization. Lack of education and training in the topical times have divided the workers into skilled and unskilled laborers and the veil that separates them is through standards of living (skilled workers are paid higher and live a relatively luxurious lifestyle). The veil is a metaphor, which signifies the difference in pay scales. In this regard, the words of Booker T. Washington in the “Altanta Exposition Address” are significant – “No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem” (Washington, Harlan and Smock, 10). Racial differences or the difference in color are prominent even in these days, be in through the media or the incidents around us. For instance, advertisements of fairness creams and related products have always worked to highlight the difference between skin tones with fairness always a more coveted possession. The world of crime is also related to this veil where the deaths in police custody are often a direct consequence of racial discrimination. According to a survey conducted in March-April 2001 by the Washington post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard University 52% Afro-American men said that the police have unjustly made them halt owing to their dark color of the skin. The conduct of police and law enforcement organizations is especially important in this context. In most of the cases the police himself are responsible for vulnerability and discrimination against them (Dow and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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