The pressure from society to be both accepting and open in nature for being able to progress with true equality is considered to be a wonderful thought. Nonetheless, there are stereotypes that are associated with the different forms of culture, races and gender and these defined perceptions till date leads to injustice on mankind and put forward a hindrance when it comes to a truly equal future.
The essay by Brent Staples Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space in this context is an extremely thought provoking read. The purpose of this essay is to showcase how the aspects of racism and unconscious prejudice still exist in the mind of the common man. He talks about his personal experiences and reminiscences about how he dealt with it (Cohen). Staples was born in 1951 and has a PHD in philosophy from University of Chicago and was a journalist by profession. This essay as written for a magazine in the year 1986 (Rich, Smith and Thompson). The speaker in this essay is the author himself as he describes himself as a broad six feet two inches, a large man. Similarly it may be seen that in the essay On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eighner, which is a piece of work from his work Travels with Lizbeth and deals with his experiences of homelessness (Eighner). Unlike Staples, Eighner was a gay erotica writer and also a former assistant ward worker with the Austin state hospital. While in Staples work the author refers to himself in the third person, Eigher uses the first person to talk about his homelessness and his thoughts reading that time period in a personal voice (Aaron and Kuhl). Both pieces of writing takes in social issues and themes and voices them by using the individual frame.
The encounters that Brent Staples unfurls in his writing are those that he had with the people around him, who perceived him as a threat as he was a black man. He outlines incidences where women ran away from him in the streets, how he was forcibly asked to leave a jewellery store and also one painful incidence where he was perceived as a burglar, though mistakenly, at his own place of work. The author uses imagery and descriptive writing to recreate the experiences for the reader (DiYanni). Eigner on the other hand, while speaking about his homeless days, reflects on the life that he termed as scavenger and draws a deep analogy of what is considered by the society as trash. He starts with his fascination towards dumpsters and dumpster diving and introduces the readers to this way of life which many would look down upon with contempt (Cohen).
Both Staples and Eigner had their essays published in magazines while pointed towards the fact that they wanted their chosen readers to be from a broad category. This included both male and female readers of various different age groups. However, a greater portion of Staple’s essay reached out to the black audiences since many of them could identify with tier own experiences that was similar to that of Staples and open up a differential point for the White counterparts making them realise how racism and differential treatment made the victimised individuals feel (Peterson, Brereton and Hartman). On the other hand, since Eigner dealt with a social issue that pointed towards hunger, homelessness and the depiction of what would presumably trash for an individual while necessity for another, this reached out to readers irrespective of irrespective of their age, colour or race.
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