In the contemporary world, a class of people in society and their race often determine the level of their life, their opportunities and the attitude of others towards them. Unfortunately, in the most cases, people with different skin color and low material welfare often face misunderstanding, neglect, loneliness as well as mocking and even bullying. According to the modern general stereotype, in the world of success there is no place for such people. One of such persons is Bell Hooks, a modern author, writer and representative of the feminist movement. In her article, Learning in the Shadow of Race and Class, she reflects the most important details of her personal life as a simple black girl from a poor provincial family. Bell Hooks’s main purpose is to share with the readers her feelings and experiences, as well as to inform about the harsh living conditions and challenges, which black people and people with low incomes face almost every day. She adopts the sentimental and quite sympathetic tone in order to explain the complexity and unfairness of the situation and also to appeal such emotions as compassion, understanding and sympathy in her readers. From the very beginning of her article, Hooks proves its credibility and truthfulness, using a large amount of details and facts, as well as successfully uses the appeals to logic and emotions.
In her article, she tells about her childhood and the difficulties she faced, being a black girl. She was born in a poor family and throughout her childhood was taught that all her wishes were stupid and unnecessary. Growing up, Bell faced the question of choice of the college. Parents accurately explained that it was just another foolish desire and that they did not have any money for it. That's why she entered the college close to home. Parents were promised that their daughter would receive a scholarship and they would not have to pay for anything. Entering the college, Bell lived in a dormitory in a single room. She was the only black girl there so no one wanted to either live with her or even communicate. She felt lonely. However, she never wanted to get the life of the white girls who only dreamed of a lot of beautiful clothes, parties and marriage instead of education. Bell was intelligent, read books all the time and hoped for a happy future. Later, the black girl decided to enter Stanford, despite the fact that her parents were against this. However, although there were many black students and professors, she remained invisible to them as not belonging to the class of elite. All the students and teachers there paid attention only to those who belonged to their class. It was possible to join only for those who was ready to forget the past and erase this period of time from their lives. Bell was not ready to do so. That is why, graduating from the university, she felt only freedom like criminal after the end of long imprisonment (Hooks).
Bell Hooks begins her narration by describing that all her childhood, living in a poor family, she was obliged to give up all her desires and dreams, because the parents had no money for them and by expressing how hard it was for her to survive in a world in which no one thought of black people. The author uses a large number of emotionally charged words, word combinations and phrases and actively uses appeals to pathos throughout the full article. In order to achieve this rhetorical strategy, she describes in detail all her feelings and thoughts that accompanied her during the childhood, studying in the college and university. All of this helps her create a little sad and sympathetic character and tone of the story. She argues that in college dorm nobody wanted to live with her because she was the only black girl; no one wanted to communicate or become friends with her. At the university, nobody paid attention to her because she belonged to the working class and not the elite. Notifying these details, Bell Hooks tries to appeal to the sympathy and the moral support of the readers. At the same time, she makes the readers negatively attitude to those who consider themselves better than her because of the color of their skin or financial income. For this purpose she uses words that express disdain and hate.
Besides the fact that the author of the article Learning in the Shadow of Race and Class uses the pathos, she also makes a large number of appeals to logos. In order to do this, Bell Hooks uses a large amount of concrete details and descriptions that make the article more credible and truthful. She informs about the state of society, describing the attitude of white and rich students towards the black and poor ones. It is possible to say that the author of the article uses a short statistics, indicating how many black students enrolled in its first small college and Stanford. With the help of this strategy, Bell Hooks also affects the perception of the situation by readers. She helps them understand how it is difficult for black people to make ends meet and survive in the modern world of white and rich people.
At the end of the article, the author uses both pathos and logos. She describes the emotions she was experiencing receiving a diploma and graduating from Stanford. In this case her descriptions are particularly full of various emotional experiences. At the same time, however, she draws parallels between the graduating the university and the obtaining of the freedom after the prison.
The article is constructed of many individual paragraphs in which the author has formed different opinions and provided examples to confirm them. All paragraphs are clearly separated from each other. However, one and the same idea is present throughout the entire text of the article. All the ideas in the article are mentioned consistently one after another, so that the audience is not confused with the fast progress of the context.
Hooks, Bell. Learning In The Shadow Of Race And Class. 1st ed. 2016. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. http://cindykopp.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/9/3/12938517/bell_hooks_shadow_of_race_and_class_.pdf