“Shame” Analysis Questions
Consider the first two paragraphs of this essay. What do the details given suggest about the speaker of this story?
From the first two paragraphs of the story, the details of this story suggest to me that the speaker of the story is an impoverished, young, black boy living in the ghetto who has fallen in love with someone he knew was out of league. For example, I know that the speaker of this story is impoverished because of the way he talks about certain things. To expand on this, Richard states, “She was always clean,” and, “In the morning, I’d put them on, wet or dry, because they were the only clothes I had.” Richard acts like being clean is a bonus in a person, which in that time in his life, it was. Richard didn’t have access to clean water, so cleaning was a luxury for him. So, when he was Helene clean everyday, he loved her for it, among other things. I also know that he is African-American, because of the way he refers to caucasian people as “white-folk.”
How do the first three paragraphs affect the reader’s relationship with (or impression of) this speaker?
The first three paragraphs give the readers the impression of
How is the character of Helene Tucker used to develop the theme of this essay? Consider this character not just as a person, but as a rhetorical device.
After reading this essay, return to the sentence that reasds, “I guess I would have gotten over Helene by summertime, but something happened in that classroom that mde her face hang in front of me for the next twenty-two years.” Consider the significance of this statement now that you have read the entire narrative.
Explain how dialouge, a rhetorical device, is used to convey the theme of this essay. (Be sure to indicate what, precisely, is the theme of the essay.)
Nigger by Dick Gregory (1964)