Interwined With Other Writers Language and Class Essay

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Interwined With Other Writers

Language and Class

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Upon initial examination, there are a variety of similarities to be found within the text of James Baldwin's "If Black Language Isn't a Language, Then Tell What Is?" And Gloria Arizaldua's "How To Tame A Wild Tongue." Both of these essays largely demonstrate the necessity for the creation of a language that is not indigenous to a respective pair of ethnic groups, one of which is African-American, the other of which is Latinos and Latinas living within the United States. The social isolation of both of these groups of people inherently influences the language (or in some cases, the languages) which they speak, and more importantly, how they speak that language. The relationship between these essays and Jean Anyon's "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work" is decidedly more equivocal, for the simple fact that Anyon is primarily addressing the disparities in the ways in which children of different socio-economic backgrounds are taught at the fifth grade level, as well as the ways in which these differentiated modes of instruction are aligned with the preparation for varying jobs at different classifications of laborers (from executives all the way to blue-collared employees). Yet if one is able to take into account the ethnic make-up of the different socio-economic classes that Anyon studies, as well as to consider the implications inherent in the ways that various lessons are presented to examples from the student population group, a number of analogous situations can be found within the all three texts.

Essay on Interwined With Other Writers Language and Class Assignment

Liberty is one concept that is central to all of the author's written works, and can be found most clearly in Anyon's detailing of the method for teaching fifth graders who belong to the ultra elite, executive school system -- students who parents routinely earn over $100,000 by heading up major corporations. The following quotation indicates the degree of liberty which the students have in their education. "While strict attention to the lesson at hand is required, the teachers make relatively little attempt to regulate the movement of the children at other times." Such liberty of movement is not to be found in Anyon's discussion of the school life of the working class students, nearly a third of which come from families that hover around the poverty line and which have their every move -- in school -- regulated into a series of precise steps. What is crucial about this concept is that in describing the executive elite school students, Anyon references the fact that there are "no minority children in the school." Subsequently, there is a huge dearth of freedom noted in Anzaldua's essay, particularly in the beginning of the essay when the author is reminiscing about a childhood visit to the dentist where her personal liberty to move was decidedly restricted by an authoritarian dentists, as the following quote evinces. "We're going to have to do something about your tongue," I hear the anger rising in his voice. My tongue keeps pushing out the wads of cotton, pushing back the drills, the long thin needles. "I've never seen anything as strong or as stubborn," he says" (Anzaldua 2947). Baldwin also references a lack of freedom in his essay, in the following allusion to racial violence in which language plays a decisive role. "There was a moment, in time, and in this place, when my brother, or my mother, or my father, or my sister, had to convey to me, for example, the danger in which I was standing from the white man standing just behind me…" The danger, of course, is an allusion to some aspect of racial violence. This final quotation demonstrates that liberty is a part of all three essays, and is a liberty that is enjoyed by Caucasians (or at least, non-minorities), and is substantially circumscribed for minority groups that include African-Americans and Latinos.

The potential force or the significant consequences of language is another common theme which… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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