Reasons For Writing
Jean Paul Sartre wrote in “Why Write?”, “Why Write? Each one has
his reasons. For one, art is flight; for another, a means of
conquering. But one can flee into a hermitage, into madness, into
death. Why does it have to be writing, why does one have to manage his
escapes and conquests by writing? Because, behind the various aims of
authors, there is a deeper and more immediate choice which is common to
all of us. Writing is a way of wanting freedom.” The author answers
his own question, in that the purpose of writing could be to gain
freedom. An author can use writing as a tool to express his ideas, as
well as to send a message to the reader. The message could be in the
form of sending information, asking a question that encourages the
reader to pursue the topic by expanding on it or by taking further
actions. How can writing be used effectively to send a message?
During the past semester, the three readings that had the affected
me the most were: “I Have A Dream”, by Martin Luther King, Jr., “The
Ballot or the Bullet”, by Malcolm X, and “Among the Condemned”, by
Charles Dickens. There are two main reasons for the affect they had on
me. The first reason is the specific language that each author used in
his work. The second reason is how the authors presented the sense of
struggle in the content of their message.
When I began reading “I Have A Dream”, the opening paragraph
sparked my interest for two reasons. I was very impressed with the
language and the rhetoric he used in his speech. Martin Luther King Jr.
said, ”Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is
the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the
sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from
the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”
His description of the present status of Afro-Americans is characterized
in the words: “dark”, “desolate”, and “quicksands of racial justice”.
On the other hand, the future, as he sees it, is summarized in the
words: “sunlit path of racial justice” and “solid rock of brotherhood”.
This gives me a clear message as to his viewpoint on racial inequality.
Even a hundred years before this speech took place, Abraham Lincoln sent
the same message. Abraham Lincoln, in his Annual Message to Congress,
December 1, 1862, said, “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history… No
personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us.
The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honour or
dishonour to the last generation.”
The second reason, my interest was sparked, was by the level of
motivation that I felt in his words. The words that affected me the
most were stated by Martin Luther King Jr. as, “Go back to Mississippi,
and go back to Alabama. Go back to South Carolina. Go back to Georgia.
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