College Essay Examples


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What is the main purpose of Smith’s narrative? In what way does this story shape her understanding of herself and her family?
The main purpose of this narrative by Smith is to highlight that her family had greatly contributed to the civil rights of the Black community significantly in various events. During some of these events, she goes on to highlight that her family faced various dangers, the greatest one being getting shot at by angry white supremacists. This story deeply shapes her understanding of herself and her family in that it lets her know that she came from a people who were hard working and were actively involved in protests, a people who were brave and passionate about their believes. This gave her a great sense of pride and also gave her determination to pursue and accomplish great things for herself.

  1. How does Smith create a mental picture of the scene in the roller rink? Which sensory details are particularly effective in helping the reader feel present at the “standoff” between O.L Underwood and Auntie Jean?

To create a mental picture of the scene in the roller rink, Smith makes use of vivid description to capture the whole scene. She describes the crowd that was present, a bunch of children and teenager led by her grandfather and the Reverent. She goes on to vividly describe how big and looming Underwood was and how he was foaming at the mouth (Wyrick, 2016). Such a vivid description creates an adequate mental picture. To make the reader feel present, Smith uses comparison through which she is able to paint Underwood as being exceptionally big and intimidating against small boys and girls and still had the nerve to pull out a gun on them.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

  1. Why does Smith begin the essay with a series of humorous anecdotes about her Auntie Jean before beginning the core of the narrative? What effect does this introduction have on the narrative’s impact?

The humorous anecdotes about her Auntie Jean are meant to make the reader warm up to Aunt Jean. From the Onset, she builds Aunt Jean to be a well-rounded character, a character that many readers can identify with and therefore the reader develops a liking towards her. This introduction has a great impact on the narrative because when Underwood intimidates Aunt Jean and makes her shake and pulls a gun on them, suddenly, the message is very close home and personal.

  1. The author includes dialogue between her and her relatives. What does this use of dialogue add to the story? What does the dialogue reveal to the reader?

The dialogue adds “life” to the story and also introduces herself as a very reliable narrator. The dialogue also validates the narrator’s arguments because instead of claiming that so and so did this and that; the characters are seen to speak for themselves thereby adding credibility to the story. The dialogue reveals to the reader that indeed; characters are the vehicles through which the author brings the story to the audience. Since this is a story that is meant to appeal to the emotions of the reader, the author creates characters that are full of life. Even the narrator herself becomes one of the characters in the story as she interacts with everyone else. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

  1. How does Smith react when she finds when she discovers the old newspaper article in the scrapbook? What realization prompts her dramatic response?

Smith is Enraged and shattered by the newspaper article that she discovers in the scrapbook. Her dramatic response is prompted by the realization that the journalist who had carried the story had misrepresented the facts of that day. Just like the system, he had lied to the rest of the world about the chronology of events on that day. For example, the article just said that Underwood had refused the teenagers to enter the rink, but omitted the fact that he had shot at the teenager and had sent them terrified and didn’t even mention the standoff between Underwood and Auntie Jean (Wyrick, 2016).

  1. What impact does the inclusion of the picture create? How does the contrast between the printed article and the handwritten comment influence the reader’s understanding of the narrative?

The inclusion of the picture creates a sense of reliability on narration. It creates a sense of contrast between Smith’s narrative and the narrative by the biased journalist who had written about the standoff years ago. This is important because Smith wants the readers to know that there is truth in her story and she achieves that by given evidence by use of a picture. The contrast between the printed article and the comments influences the understanding of the narrative in that while the printed narrative feels more machine-like, the handwritten comments feel more human and therefore more convincing and hence most trustworthy.

  1. Smith writes, “History is written by the victors.” What does she mean by this? How can this old adage be applied to the story of her Auntie Jean confrontation in the roller rink?

Smith means that often, if not always, people only get to know the version of an event that is told by the more powerful party to a conflict. Often, this version of the truth is biased towards the person giving it. This adage can be applied in the story of her Auntie Jean confrontation in the roller rink in that while the reality of the event was that her aunt was involved in a terrifying confrontation with Underwood and a gun was involved in intimidating the teenagers, the report that was printed in the newspapers was biased (Wyrick, 2016). It lied that Underwood had merely turned the Negroes away. It even omits that these Negroes were mere preteens and teenagers.

  1. Throughout the story, Smith uses occasional simple sentence constructions for dramatic effect: “my heart stopped,” “I was shattered” and “I was shocked” how do these simple, declarative sentences impact the reader? How do they impact the flow of the narrative?

These simple declarative sentences take the reader deep into the mind and soul of the rollercoaster of emotions that the narrator has about the subject matter. In other words, the narrator can say that racial discrimination is shocking and shattering. These declarative sentences create a certain kind of a regular rhythm through which the story is told. This kind of rhythm adds power and intensity to the narrative in that it’s like watching a movie through its trailer as the highlights of various scenes are brought together.

  1. How would you describe the author’s style in this narrative? What factors lead you to that characterization? How does the author’s conversational style impact the reader’s understanding and appreciation of the narrative?

The author uses a first-person narration technique to bring the story to the reader. The story is also narrated through a flashback because most of the events, especially the climax of the story, took place long before the narrator was born.  The story is also told within another story. The conversational style has a strong impact on the reader in that it introduces credibility to the story in that the characters in the story are there to clarify the events carried out in the story. For example, by shaking her head, Auntie Jean is able to tell Smith and the reader, that the story in the newspaper is biased.

  1. Overall, how effective is Smith’s story about her Auntie Jean and her subsequent discovery of the newspaper article? How do her concluding lines (the story would live on. And it would be the Auntie Jean version) impact the reader’s empathy towards the narrator?

Overall, Smith’s story about her Auntie Jean is very effective in both demonstrating how her Auntie was in the center of the standoff and also the discovery of the newspaper article. Auntie Jean plays a very important part in the standoff and even by the time that the story comes to an end, the reader cannot forget that image. Her discovery of the newspaper article adds to the biasness of the white supremacist system. The ending deeply impacts on the empathy towards the narrator because by uploading it to Instagram, Smith comes out as someone who not only preserves the history of her family and race, but also preserves it is a non-biased manner.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Wyrick, . (2016). Steps to writing well w/additional readings mla 2016 update. S.l.: Cengage Learning Custom P.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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