Support and sponsorship usually comes to us in different ways and at times in the least expected means and people. the kind of upbringing and the support a person receives will ultimately determine how they adopt to the language. The fact however remains that where there is determination and desire, one can always obtain what they want. Comparing the articles on the life of certain individuals and how they were sponsored supported during their earlier life, we realize the impact it has on their life. The three articles we shall focus on are the narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglas, Sponsors of literacy and A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students’ Lives.
Looking at the next article, the sponsors of literature, Brandt analyses for us how literature sponsors affect the way a person presents his or her literature work. This according to her is necessary as it brings out the uniqueness in each person. It also makes literature interesting by minimizing on monotony of having to read same styled materials. A combination of the different sponsors from parent, teachers, friends or even sibling makes a writer to have an exposure of the different skills. This will also reflect on their writing which will have the characters of all the sponsors involved. This therefore implies that a writer who has been brought up in a poverty-stricken environment and sponsored by such people will mainly focus his or her work on the environment. Such early and innocent days will form the basis of the literature.
The article A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students’ Lives. Also shares similar sentiments as Brandt views. Here, the author mainly talks about the influence of the close family members on the kind and quality of work that they deliver in literature. All this has to do with the effort they put in sponsoring the child like the kind of literature books they get them, the school of study and how far they are willing to stretch just to ensure the child is well equipped. Some children and especially who are brought up with parents or a relative who values literature will get them all kinds of literature work and encourage them to read. Such a child will hence have adequate exposure and reflect the same through what they write.
All through the narrations, we are exposed to opportunities that different writers of literature landed on. The opportunities came with bigger challenges which made them better people. The complexity of Douglas’ situation made him wish that he never were exposed to them. The more his eyes opened to the truth, the more he felt sorry for his situation. Realizing that it will not be easy for him to be delivered from it also made him wish that he were dead or just never known (Douglas 32). The story is looked at a different perspective just to signify that even though knowledge is good, it comes with a cost. The narrator pursued knowledge with the hope that it will deliver him from his situation. He must have been envying his age mates that went to school and the white who could read and write. Once he knew how to read, he realized that such knowledge was becoming a curse to him as it opened his eyes to what he was and how the society around viewed him. After reading books on slavery, we see the narrator envying his fellow slaves that were living in ignorance.
English is a language of information. This is mainly because information comes from reading a variety of literature. English has widely been accepted as the most convenient language of communication. It is for the fact that people across the world are encouraged to take English as a second language especially if it is not their first. Many people miss opportunities simply because they lack the ability to communicate. Personally, I am taking up ESL classes of which I am receiving adequate support from my parents. They ensured that I learn it in an environment that has good teachers and people I can practice with. I hence consider this an important step that my parents. I am not however taking any chances this is because I realize that I have a part to play in realizing my dream. I will not just sit there and not do adequate research on the language just because English is not my first language.
Just like the narrator, I realize and recognize that a long the way I am encountered with challenges which I will have to overcome. I may be discriminated against just because I cannot speak the best English as my friends. Not being fluent will also not prevent ne from speaking in a group. As I speak, I get friends who correct me and hence a void making similar mistakes. There is nothing good that comes easy, even when there are people around you to support, one needs to show a lot of diligence and sacrifice a lot of time. The narrator was able to squeeze some time amidst his busy schedule and hostile treatment just to read and even be taught. He was willing to give in anything as along as he acquires the knowledge that will set him free from the chains of slavery.
Chance always happens to a prepared and determined mind. There is nothing that will be impossible to a person who has the will power. Amidst any hopeless situation, the courage to move on and the hope that things will be better some day will keep a person going. The more complicated the challenges, the more a person realizes how far he has reached. The ability to overcome the challenges will also determine how one will come of the situation (Webb-Sunderhaus 6). At the end of the road, the narrator must have been grateful for the challenges that he faced, if he were in a state of comfort, he would have probably never realized the need to acquire knowledge and be free. The tougher the situation seemed to be on his way; the more he realized the need to come out of it. It may have been a painful journey for him yet the end was worth the sacrifices that he took.
Knowledge acquisition is usually the very first step towards knowledge. One needs to learn newer skill each day to enable them survive the situations around. The procedure however requires a great deal of sacrifice and willing people around. Just like the Douglas who was at times afraid of taking certain steps, most people are discouraged because o the fear of what is likely to happen to them. Such fear can only be overcome by taking the state however dreaded it is. It paid off for the narrator and it can always pay off to anybody who is willing to take the calculated risk.
Douglas, Frederick. The narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglas. Chapter VII
Brandt Deborah. Sponsors of literacy
Webb-Sunderhaus, Sara. A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students’ Lives