The paper "Analysis of How It Feels to Be Colored Me and What is an America " discusses that both the writers, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur and Nora Neale Hurston stood for their rights and perspectives through the essays, ‘What is an American’ and ‘How It Feels to be Colored Me’ respectively…
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Nora Neale Hurston presents the other side of America through her essay; ‘How It Feels to Be Colored Me’. The essay published in 1928, presents the problem of apartheid well. It is the description of the American notion towards the Negroes in America. Both these essays can be taken as the response to each other and the present paper is an attempt on the study of these two essays in dealing with the American idealism and the treatment of it as shown in both the essays. The essayist, Hector says that America had toiled hard to set an idealism of its own. It was a country that struggled a lot to attain independence from the hands of Britain. The writer, Hector in his essay, ‘What is an American’ retorts that in America all are equal. He speaks that in America the rich and poor are not separated as far as in Europe and “all are united by the silken bands of mild governments, all respecting laws, without dreading their power, because they are equitable” (Crevecoure). The essay can be put against Nora Neale Hurston’s essay, ‘How It Feels to be Colored Me’ as it states the ill feelings of the colored in America. What America had tried for was the American dream and its self-determination. America had absorbed the Blacks into the country and provided them with all the facilities to work. Further, he puts down that America is a country where they have no princes for whom they have to toil, starve, and bleed. America is the most perfect society in the world as a man is free here and the equality is persisting here than any other countries in the world (Crevecoeur). The very idea of Americanism that is being equal to one another is focused as a major point in the essay and it replenishes the heart of the readers with American identity and dream. The response of the essay, ‘What is an American’ is very well presented in Nora Neale Hurston’s essay entitled, ‘How It feels to be Colored Me’. What is an American proclaimed the idealism of America, but Nora presented the practice on American idealism? She felt to be colored on many occasions. The aspects of equality as glorified in ‘What is an American’ could not be seen in the life of little Nora. She expressed through her essay how the feeling of the black penetrated her heart and how it affected her being. She makes out in her essay that she feels colored when she is thrown against the white background (How It Feels to be Colored Me). Even though she does not speak much about the apartheid in the country, the feelings of discrimination and inequality are surged out in her essay. It is working as a sharp criticism against the essay, ‘What is an American’. The nobility of the Americans is shattered by the disclosure of the experiences of Nora in her essay. She regains her lost position by stating, “Slavery is the price I paid for civilization, and the choice was not with me. It is a bully adventure and worth all that I have paid through my ancestors for it” (How It Feels to be Colored Me). She realizes that she had contributed to the civilization of America through her ancestors in dealing with the aspect of slavery. As with the essay ‘What is an American’ she offered her own contribution to America through the blood of her forefathers in abolishing slavery.
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