6 pages/≈1650 words
Literature & Language
Lynching (Essay Sample)
The task was to address the scope of lynching as was presented by various authors in regard to the black community. This essay attempts to explore the extent of lynching through the eyes of the examined authors source..
Your name Tutors name School Subject Ralph Ellison's "A party down at the square." examining how their portrayals make an argument about lynching. Lynching is formerly defined as an act where a crowd, that is countless or dozens individuals opts to take law into their own hands with the aim of maiming, killing or injuring an individual charged with some wrongdoing. The claimed offense could range from a serious felony like murder to plain infringement of local customs as well as sensibilities. Basically, the concerns of the accused are commonly secondary, since the gang acts as executioner, prosecutor, judge and jury. As a result the due procedure curves to momentary passions including convenient objectives. The various historical pointers indicate social control has always been an element essential to dynamics of mob rule, and this consists of lynching. Delving into American history, lynching or mob violence heavily reflected the white contempt for other racial, ethnic as well as cultural groups. And this was evident when the racists premises compelled the true Americans to employ and execute their assumed superiority through imperialist investments, lynching evolved to be the domestic measure of implementing white dominance. Lynching is a broader theme that has been both partially and expansively explored by both black and white writers. The era of racism is captured within this context vehemently. Delving into the definite path followed by the author, we establish that Ralph Ellison’s narrative is deeply disturbing. The fictional narrative explores the story of a northern boy in the Deep South, carefully the author navigates through psychological as well as experiences including conventions that steered to the advocacy including inaction against persistent racism. Authoritatively, Ellison who is a black author, maneuvers his pathway from a young white boy perspective, using the dynamics of reverse effects, we not that the central character establishing the deeper scope of lynching. This is well articulated in the book where he links the attributes of racial perspectives with inaction which resulted in what can be defined as bystander effect and this echoes the way lynching was assimilated in the society. Consider the excerpt: And the nigger looked up with his great white eyes looking like they was ’bout to pop out of his head, and I had enough, I didn’t want to see anymore. I wanted to run somewhere to puke, but I stayed. I stayed right there in the front of the crowd and looked. (2384). Looking at this extract, the narrator shows that he wants to flee, yet he can’t. What this illustrates is that the masses had assimilated into the oppressive crowd. The eventuality of the plot dictates that the narrator had become part of the system or the passive bystanders, this make it impossible for him to help or more rendered him unwilling to fight for the boy being lynched. Exploring the history of the American society, it is evident that the simple aspect of accepting racial injustices was deeply rooted among the whites. As the author observes in the narrative through the eye of the narrator, lynching was a widespread, as the narrator recounts: “The next day I was too weak to go out, and my uncle kidded me and called me the ‘gutless wonder from Cincinnati.’ I didn’t mind. He said you get used to it in time” (2385). The excerpt illustrates how the very nature of racism which fuelled lynching kept revolving and recurring. In A party down at the square, we note that the theme of racism was rampant while desensitization was evident during any incidence of lynching. During the burning, for example, Ellison notes; The fire had burned the ropes they had tied him with, and he started jumping and kicking about like he was blind, and you could smell his skin burning. He kicked so hard that the platform, which was burning too, fell in, and he rolled out of the fire at my feet. I jumped back so he wouldn’t get on me. I’ll never forget it. Every time I eat barbecue I’ll remember that nigger. His back was just like a barbecued hog. (2385) The author illustrates how the lynched black boy was more likened to a piece of meat. What we note is that this resulted in reducing the black boy to a complete subhuman form. The said party in the narrative desensitized the protagonist to accept racial violence including compelling him to forge a conception that the black community is less human. Comparing Ellison’s argument in relation to Stewart E. Tolnay work,A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynching’s, 1882-1930, it is established that lynching was a product of racial intolerance which was fuelled by racism and carried out by hate inspired white mob. Due to the diverse issues surrounding the reconstruction of South and North, historians have that over 2,000 separate episodes of execution in which at least over 2,400 African-American men, women along with children met their demise in the grip of southern mobs, encompassing as a rule, principally, and whites. Even though lynching’s as well as mob killings came about prior to 1880, particularly during near the beginning of the Reconstruction as blacks Americans were enfranchised, deep-seated racism as well as mob sadism peaked all through the 1890s in a gush of intimidation that did not dissolve conclusively as is evident with the 18th century. The author with Tolnay, Stewart has one thing in common, all agree that lynching was racial and was in basically driven by such values as; To uphold social order over the black populace through intimidation; To suppress and purge black rivals for fiscal, political, or communal rewards To steady the white class configuration and conserve the restricted class of the white nobility" (18-19). In agreement with Ellison, the authors asserts that, fatal mob cruelty for ostensibly inconsequential infringements of the caste codes of manners was more elemental for maintaining terroristic societal control than castigation for what would appear to be more solemn infringements of the criminal regulations. Going back to Ellison, we are brought to a situation where the scope of lynching as captured by the narrator is deeply anchored to the way the public was desensitizes to its violent environment that recognized lynching as a form of penal system. Analyzing the argument and observation of the narrator and other facts presented by Tolnay, Stewart, the scope of lynching rests on such components as fear and repression. On the other hand, the internal discourse that the boy initiates for the audience leaves no space for hope, as it is insightful of the strong-willed lack of compassion in the perpetrators. The boys response, for instance, in Ralph Ellison's "A party down at the square, to the scene he eyewitnesses is “to run somewhere to puke,” but distressingly he stays (2384). Even his high regard for the man being burned up is disconcerting, as he says, “I have to give it to that nigger; he really was tough. He had started to burn like a house afire and was making the smoke smell like burning hides” (2385). His appreciation is entrenched in the man’s capacity to smolder, “like a house afire.” This attests that he thinks of the man not as a human being, but...
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