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: Rhetorical Analysis and Evaluation of Shakur's Changes (Book Report Sample)


The task was on Analysis and Evaluation of Shakur’s Changes, A song from literature novel.

Subject: English 101
Title: Rhetorical Analysis and Evaluation of Shakur’s Changes
Protest songs employ strong emotions to castigate an injustice, point out a problem, and attempt to come up with a solution. Different social, economic, and political realities provide the context for protest songs all over the world. Sarcasm, satire, hyperbole, and symbolism underpin effective protest songs. The organization of the song and rhymes evoke deep feelings from listeners so that the cause the song is agitating for resonates well with the audience. Among the many songs that fit this description and purpose is Tupac Shakur’s Changes. Written in 1992, the song captures the deplorable conditions the African Americans live under in the United States. From police brutality, racial profiling and stereotyping, and abject poverty, the song vividly captures the plight of blacks. This paper will demonstrate how the content, lyrics, style, and organization of Shakur’s Changes evoke deep emotions against social injustices.
Before delving into the song, it is important to understand the context of the song and the writer. America is a nation that has been grappling with issues of racial inequalities. Civil rights movement like those led by the late Dr. Martin Luther Junior led protests against discrimination and social injustices. Tupac became part of this social movement advancing for advancement of the black race. The song Changes is an expression of the exasperation that greeted the black folks after fighting for so long for equal rights, yet their conditions remained the same. That explains the title of the song and repetition of the words “I see no changes”. However, like any protest song, Tupac offers the solution in unity and love. He urges:
“I got love for my brothers, but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other. We got to start making changes. Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers”
Music, Lyric and Organization
The song begins with a series of rhetorical questions, an effective technique to capture attention and engage the audience. Tupac poses, “Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?” This sets the tone of the song as despondent. When he proceeds to mention that the reason for his hopelessness is being black, it evokes feelings of anger. He moves on to explore the deplorable conditions of Africa Americans. To start with, they are hungry, thus forcing them into crime. The police react through extra-judicial killing, often relishing in shooting black people. The organization of the song is chronological, a common feature in protest songs. It has a cause-effect style in which a black person is hungry, snatches a purse, and ends up dead from police gunshot.
The song employs satire and metaphor to depict the deplorable conditions of the black people, trigger-happy police, and social stratification. The use of the term “purse” in the line “… I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch” paints the whites as the more privileged. While blacks are stealing to feed their stomachs, their white compatriots have money to “attract” purse-snatchers. The lyrics satirize the police force for its brutality. It derives joy from watching black gangs kill each other instead of enforcing the law. The use of “hero” in reference to blacks who die at the hands of the police force paints a system with endemic institutional and moral dysfunction. The lyrics spare the most biting satire to blacks. While they are victims of the system, they take pleasure in inflicting pain on each other. Rather than forge unity and goodwill, they fight each other much to the delight of the white police force.
Changes depict Africa Americans as victims in a racist society that criminalizes them with...
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