Cruelty Towards African-Americans and Other Social Issues in Literature

The author Roslyn Foy explains the deeper emotions that resides in Armand the protagonist of the story Desiree’s baby by Kate Chopin. Armand’s cruel actions towards the people around him do not only suggest racism in the nineteenth century; he is man that must comply and live up to his great reputation. Foy brings up the subject of his mother, suggesting that even though she died when Armand was only eight years old, he must have remember her physical appearance but somehow he has suppressed that fact.

This questions that whether Armand’s cruel actions came from a social point of view or does it deprive from his suppression of his mother and his past. This eventually led him to abandon his wife and son, the author suggest that his hatred towards them is the hatred towards himself and his origins. Armand is a character that is confused and angry with his past and finally realizes at the end that he is the very thing that he hates the most. In this critical essay, the author Leon Lewis illustrates an overview of Langston Hughes overall work and what he represents as a literary writer.

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Hughes is known as the “Laureate of Black America”, he has the desire to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America. His work usually consists of rhymes and poems, and the language of the black community. Even though some of his work is appeal more towards young adult readers, his work is written to reach a wide spread of audience not just the literary privileged. Some of his influences include: Sandburg, Vachel Lindsay, and Edgar Lee Masters whose work is also directed at a broad spectrum of readers. His work addresses concerns and issues surrounding African-Americans and effects of racial hatred.

Hughes always possesses an optimistic mood which reflects in his writing, he depicts racial issues in a way where he has hope in humanity and is illustrated positively. Even though, there has been a history of hatred and cruelty towards African-Americans, he still has faith in America that African-American’s contribution in the country will be or is recognized. This type of inspirational attitude also reflects in his short stories, and he also includes humor and irony in his stories. This is why he is one of the most important literary figures in the American history.

In this short story overview essay written by Samuel I. Bellman, The Bride comes to Yellow Sky is one of Stephen Crane’s most popular stories. In Summary, it is about a Yellow Sky town marshal Jack Potter that leaves town to marry a low class woman, and there is the town badman Scratchy Wilson, Potter’s long time enemy who is on a drunken rage rampage. Critics have said the story is a satire of how the east is influential on the Old West to which Crane also agreed to based on his own experience. Crane’s story consists of symbolic patterns, allusions and perspectives it contains.

There is a story within a story of the comedy that surrounds the Western feuds. This story is similar to Crane’s own life experiences; he had also courted a women of a lower class and she was a prostitute, and it was difficult to bring home such women to meet his relatives and friends. The story made relevance to an entertainment show where scenarios and materials around the characters resemble that of a stage and what was on it. Bellman takes a few examples from the short story and illustrated a few scenes and relating it to a comedy show. In this critical essay written by Hindu; R. K.

Narayan is described as a natural story teller that depicted truth of life most of them taken place in small towns of Indian, usually imaginary towns he would make up. His work involved moral issues in political settings that stayed close to his social origin. Narayan’s culture is directly reflected in his literature, he did not follow literary patterns but he wrote what came straight from the heart with modest humour and irony. Narayan was often compared to William Faulkner, their work was similar in a way where both of them wrote with compassion and saw humour in ordinary everyday life.

His English was personal and be related by the readers, unlike other Indian writers, he strayed from the conventional literary method. He lived until the age of 94. Carol Mowery’s essay described Kurt Vonnegut as a contemporary American writer known for satirical stories. He believed that everyone should have the right and opportunity to improve and not being oppressed by the system, which included the government, corporations and the military. In the story “Harrison Bergeron”, it concluded that one’s will power is greater than the oppression of misconceived laws.

Vonnegut is known to use satire to address social and political issues to engage in readers mind and let them decide what to do about it. Many authors were satiric, also TV shows and series as well, that uses satire to ridicule an issue and revealing it in a comical way. In the short story, Vonnegut is criticizing on the idea how America enforces equality which is seemingly impossible; he believed that making everyone seem identical is not good for a country nor for individuals that thrives to be better.

Characters in Vonnegut are sympathetic and likable which contribute to satire success.


Foy, Roslyn Reso. “Chopin’s ‘Desiree’s Baby’. ” The Explicator 49. 4 (Summer 1991): 222-223. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Joseph Palmisano. Vol. 68. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Lewis, Leon. “Langston Hughes: Overview. ” Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers. Ed. Laura Standley Berger. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Twentieth-Century Writers Series. Literature Resource Center.

Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Bellman, Samuel I. “The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky: Overview. ” Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Hindu. “R. K. Narayan, 1906-2001. ” Hindu. n. p. , 2001. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. Mowery, Carl. “Harrison Bergeron. ” Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Oct. 2012.

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