Реферат: Reasons For Writing
Jean Paul Sartre wrote in “Why Write?”,“Why Write? Each one has hisreasons. For one, art is flight; foranother, a means of conquering. But onecan flee into a hermitage, into madness, into death. Why does it have to be writing, why does onehave 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 thatthe 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 sendinginformation, asking a question that encourages the reader to pursue the topicby expanding on it or by taking further actions. How can writing be used effectively to send amessage?
During the past semester, the threereadings 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 CharlesDickens. There are two main reasons forthe affect they had on me. The firstreason is the specific language that each author used in his work. The second reason is how the authorspresented the sense of struggle in the content of their message.
When I began reading “I Have A Dream”, theopening paragraph sparked my interest for two reasons. I was very impressed with the language andthe rhetoric he used in his speech. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ”Now is the time to make real the promisesof democracy. Now is the time to risefrom the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racialjustice. Now is the time to lift ournation from the quicksands of racial injustice to thesolid rock of brotherhood. Now is thetime to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” His description of the present status ofAfro-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 ofbrotherhood”. This gives me a clearmessage as to his viewpoint on racial inequality. Even a hundred years before this speech tookplace, 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 orinsignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honour or dishonour to the lastgeneration.”
The second reason, my interest wassparked, was by the level of motivation that I felt in his words. The words that affected me the most werestated by Martin Luther King Jr. as, “Go back to Mississippi, and go back toAlabama. Go back to South Carolina. Go back to Georgia. Go back to Louisiana. Go back to the slums and ghettos of ourNorthern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will bechanged. Let us not wallow in the valleyof despair.” The motivational part ofMartin Luther King, Jr.’s quote that influenced mewas the idea of transporting his message around the country through his speech.
In “The Ballot or the Bullet”, by Malcolm X, the same purpose was directedby each author, except in a totally different way. Malcolm X, just like Martin Luther King, Jr.,wanted to identify and specify the racial problem that Afro-Americans face inAmerican society. His rhetorical stylewas not as rich and did not have as much sophistication in his choice of wordsas that of Martin Luther King Jr.. Malcolm X said, “It’s the year when all ofthe white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community jiving youand me for some votes.” The word“jiving”, which he used, showed that he addressed his speech to a specific kindof audience. Throughout his speech, Ifelt as though anger was prevalent. Hesaid, “So, I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot,or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver-no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this Americansystem. And I see America through theeyes of the victim. I don’t see anyAmerican dream; I see an American nightmare…” From this quote, he used words like “victim” and “nightmare”, whichshowed the anger that he hoped would be shared by his listeners. In both oral presentations, “I Have A Dream”and “The Ballot or the Bullet”, the primary message of seeking immediate changewas characterized. However, the method,of reaching racial equality that each author offered, was very different. Martin Luther King, Jr.’smethod was through peaceful means and Malcolm X’s method was to change societythrough violence, if necessary.
The essay, “Among the Condemned”, byCharles Dickens, captured my attention for two reasons. The primary reason was the prison situationthat was described in the passage. Thesecond reason was the dramatic narrative style that the author used. By showing the situation in which theprisoner had less and less time to live, and by knowing the exact time of hisexecution, the author kept my interest throughout the story. While I was reading the essay, I put myselfin the situation of the prisoner. Bydoing this, I realized the feelings and emotions that a prisoner has to dealwith in the waning hours of his life. This is illustrated when Charles Dickens said, “It cannot be twoyet. Hark! Two quarters have struck; the third-thefourth. It is! Six hours left.” The useof the narrative style in “Among the Condemned”, also helped me to get aclearer picture of the environment which surrounded the prisoner. Dickens said, “An iron candlestick was fixedinto the wall at the side; and a small high window in the back admitted as muchair and light as could struggle in between a double row of heavy, crossed ironbars.” All the detailed descriptionsthat were used by the author had an emotional and spiritual effect on me.
Struggle is the common content in allthree pieces of literature. In the firsttwo works, we can see the struggle of Afro-Americans for their equality insociety. The essay, “Among theCondemned”, also showed the struggle that a prisoner goes through. Another common idea, that was exhibited inthese three works, was the desire for freedom. In the first two speeches, both speakers talked about social freedom andin the essay, the prisoner was seeking freedom from the prison cell.
The differences between the three workswere in their purpose and in their writing style. The purpose of the two freedom speeches wasto motivate and encourage the listeners to respond to the speech. On the other hand, the essay created asituation which encouraged the reader feel sympathetic towards theprisoner. Due to the motivationalpurpose of the speeches, the speakers used rhetoric to emphasize theirmessages. Since the essay’s purpose andthe situation were different from the speeches, Dickens chose to use thenarrative style for his writing.
The question “Why write?” can have manyanswers. Some of the reasons for writingare: to motivate, to inform, to educate, to influence, or to express one’s ideas. In these three readings, I found motivation, information, education, andthe expression of ideas to be the reasons that these authors used. According to the Bible, Revelation, Chap. 21,verse 4, the answer to the question,“Why write?”, is, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and thereshall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold,I make all things new. And he said untome, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” No matter what the reasons are for writing,it will remain an effective means of expression and communication. Can you imagine how different the world wouldbe if no one had ever found a purpose for writing?