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Tension Between Facts And Artistic Intention

1124 words - 5 pages

Tension between Facts and Artistic Intention
Sharon Lee
April 27, 2011
Leigh Clemons

Tension between Facts and Artistic Intention
An alarm clock rings, rooster crows, wife nudge he sleeping husband: these are but a few of the ways in which the new day begins for millions of people in America each morning. The wake up call may be followed by a warm shower, or hot breakfast, or for some, just a cup of coffee and a newspaper. Whatever the morning protocol might be, for many it is but a precursor to another routine day on the job. While the work day may be routine and even boring to many who work the day-to day jobs of ordinary people, the essayist who writes about the ...view middle of the document...

Second, she described the feel of the store before the opening of the doors and the arrival of the pickers. Within this scene the reader gets a glimpse of the sudden change that comes to the store with the opening of the door, as Maya Angelou describes her grandmother’s “sleep-filled voice” that prayed an early morning prayer before calling names an issuing orders. The complexity of the scene is felt in wordplay that mixed the harsh reality of her grandmothers “orders” and the softness of the lamplight “that made (her) want to whisper and walk about tiptoes.” It is this use of language that keeps the reality alive, yet allows the essayist to display the beauty of the scene. Third was the picture of excitement that filled her grandmother’s store each morning as the cotton pickers in the south prepared for their day’s work.
While hinting at the transition to come throughout the essay, Maya Angelou used word play and metaphoric imagery to make the transition a reality. She described the aromas that filled the store during the night, a mix of “onion and oranges and kerosene,” in a way that gave the reader a sense of quiet tranquility, a tranquility that would soon be disturbed by “the bodies of people who had walked miles” to get there. Anyone who has been in south at cotton picking times would know the early morning air is thick and humid and the bodies of those who had walked miles in it would be the complete opposite of the tranquil image brought on by the descriptions that proceeded. Maya Angelou immediate jump into banter of the customers making their morning purchases highlighted the change in atmosphere that came with the opening of the doors. There is no doubt that the sudden change fro long descriptive narrative language to short, quick dialogue has an emotional effect on the reader. In a matter of a few short sentences the tone of the essay changes entirely. It went from the quiet tranquility of the early country morning, with a hint of the excitement to come, to active anticipation of the work Maya Angelou used four descriptive words that completed the tome of the central scene of the...

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