Anne Moody Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1748 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies

¶ … Life of Anne Moody

In the book Coming of Age in Mississippi Anne Moody shares the story of her life. The book is focused on her position as a black woman in a world that she considers as being for whites. She describes what it was like living in Mississippi during the 1940's and 1950's and how the racial issues she encountered as a child led her into a life of political activism, as she worked tirelessly to change the world as it relates to the treatment of black people. Her life story shares what she learned about the social significance of race and what impact this had on her life. Moody's story is intense, angry, and truthful. Moody's willingness to share the truth with readers invites the reader into the story, where even a reader with little in common with Moody is struck by the reality of her story and her experiences.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Anne Moody Assignment

Coming of Age in Mississippi is broken into four sections, each one describing a different section of Moody's life. The first section is "Childhood" and this is the only section of the book where Moody is not driven by her awareness of the way the world is. In this section, she is too young to question the world she is experiences and just accepts the world for what it is. It is in the next section titled "High School" that Moody begins to question the world and how black people are treated. From the first point where Moody begins to see the way the world is, her response is anger. She is angry at the white people for treating the blacks as they do. She is angry over the murders of prominent black people. But her anger is not only at the white people. She is also angry at the black people for letting the world be like this. A lot of the anger at black people is based on her observation that black people are not standing up for themselves. While everyone else around her seems to feel like they have no choice but to live in the place that white people have put them, Moody sees that things could be different. She thinks that things would be different if the black people would stand up for themselves. This focus suggests one of the reasons that Moody begins to fight against racism while others do not. This reason is that she sees fault in both the black people and the white people. This means that she cannot escape into the black community and take comfort by accepting that she is important in that community. She also cannot take comfort by accepting that everyone else is suffering just like she is. Essentially, by becoming angry at everyone, she isolates herself from everyone. This leaves her no room to escape from the reality of her situation and find comfort. This explains why Moody's anger continues to grow. Another important point is related to the fact that Moody is driven by anger. As noted above, Moody begins to hate black people for not fighting. If Moody chose not to fight herself, then she would also have to hate herself. This helps explain why Moody stood up and took action. The most important part of Moody's life in high school is the development of this anger. She learns the way the world is and so this is her coming of age. However, this is not the end of the story for Moody. It is in the next section of the book titled "College" that she changes as her anger becomes more than just an emotion. The first time where Moody tries to take action is when she tries to get the other black people to boycott the cafeteria food when she finds there are maggots in the food. When this happens, she finds herself fighting against her black peers as much as the white people. While Moody is saying that she would rather starve than eat what they are being served, other people are willing to eat the food simply because they have nothing else to eat. However, Moody manages to get everyone to strike and her actions are successful. This is a second coming of age for Moody. During high school, her first coming of age taught her about the reality of the world and created her anger. In this second coming of age, she learns that she can do something about it. In this way, Moody's actions are like an outlet for her anger. Rather than just be angry, she uses her anger to inspire her to find the courage to take action. It is this second coming of age that leads to Moody's ongoing political actions as she becomes a key part of the Civil Rights Movement. This shows that a large part of the reason for Moody becoming an activist is the development of her anger. If learning the reality of the world had of resulted in the development of fear or shame, she would not have had developed the anger that drives her. If she had of resigned herself to the reality of the world, she also would not have found the drive she needed to take action. This suggests that Moody's anger is a key reason that she was driven to make a difference.

One of the passages that stood out in the book is where Moody describes her anger toward black people (Moody 129). Moody describes how she resented black people even more than white people. She describes how she sees black people acting polite and inferior to white people in public, while cursing them behind closed doors. She also states that she could not respect black people for this and that she viewed black men as cowards. This passage stood out because it makes Moody's anger understandable. One can read this and see how she wants black people to stand up for themselves and how frustrating it must have been to watch black people act as if they were inferior. This is especially true considering that it is a young Moody making these observations. In this way, the people she is observing should be her role models. However, Moody seems like the type of person who could ever allow herself to accept an inferior position. She could never act like she is fine with the way things are, while keeping her real feelings inside. This passage was also interesting because it suggests that Moody may have seen herself as having two choices. She could either accept the role of the black person and become a coward like this people. Or she could find the courage to stand up for herself. It is clear from the book that Moody chose the second option.

Another passage that stood out in the book is when Moody describes being attacked by a mob (Moody 265-266). She describes the violence that was carried out, including one black man being hit with brass knuckles, another being continually kicked in the head, and herself being dragged by her hair. Moody also describes the mob smearing them with ketchup, mustard, and sugar. This part stood out because it shows that it is not just that people were violent towards them. Instead, it also shows that the people wanted to humiliate the black people. This shows how little the black people were respected, with them treated like they are nothing. It also suggests that the people did not just want to harm and injure the black people physically, but also wanted them to surrender completely to them. This suggests that a major part of the struggle was about white people maintaining power. This part of the book also describes how the police were outside watching the event, but choosing not to stop the mob or try to do anything. This shows what Moody was up against and how she had little support. These passages are saddening, appalling, and striking.

A final question that is worth considering is what I would have done had I been in Moody's position. She tells the story with truth and emotion and despite myself having little in common with Moody, I can begin to imagine what it must have been like to be her at that time. I can see the struggle she faced, the anger she felt, and can understand the reasons for her anger. In this situation, I think I would have felt the same level of anger. In considering how I would respond, I believe that I would not have taken Moody's path. In considering Moody, I think she has a strength of mind that is remarkable. Thinking about the battle she fought, it seems like the odds were against her and that she had almost no chance of succeeding. In this situation, I don't think I would have found the strength to keep fighting for something that seems so impossible. If it was a situation where at least the black… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/anne-moody/63479.