Analysis Of The "Dream" In Ta Nehisi Coates' "Between The World And Me" University Of Tennessee Knoxville/English 331 Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

5
The Struggle Against the Dream
“The Dream” is a term Ta-Nehisi Coates coins to describe the myth that there is a difference between black people and white people, and specifically that “whiteness” is better than “blackness.” He writes that people are dreaming if they believe there to be such a thing as whiteness or blackness. Americans, and even some Black Americans, have turned a blind eye to the plundering of black bodies that has taken placed throughout American history and still takes place today, and willfully embraced “The Dream” for the sake of their own wealth and security. Although Coates never instructs readers directly on how to solve the issue of the dream, it is clear that he wants his readers to struggle. The purpose of his work is to convince readers not to accept the status quo, but to struggle against the people who hold the power.
Tim Wise asserts in his talk, Pathology of Privilege, “white Americans are twice as likely to believe that Elvis might still be alive then we are to believe what people of color tell us they experience on a fairly regular basis.” Wise spoke these words in reference to two different Gallup surveys from approximately 2005. This type of willful blindness is what sustains Ta-Nehisi Coates’ idea of “The Dream.” Coates describes two significant instances of being affected by people who are living the dream. The first was when a woman pushed his son. His son was minding his own business, but a white woman felt that she could push his son to get him out of the way. She treated him like an object, which she could move at her will. Furthering the atrocity of the situation, when Coates stood up for his son, several white men came to the defense of the woman, even telling Coates that they could have him arrested (Coates 95). This situation is a chilling model of the scene presented in the poem, “Between the World and Me.” When the woman looked at Coates’ son, all she sees is another black body. She sees an “it.” Just like in the poem, the black body seen by the narrator is seen as an “it,” instead of a person. Then, when Coates finds himself surrounded by white men who are willing to have him arrested, readers are reminded of the scene in the poem when white men and women are having a party around the tarred, feathered, and burning body of a black man (Wright). In this instance Coates fears for his son. He reflects that his son is vulnerable, simply because he is black. Coates realizes that, if asked, the woman would deny that she is racist, all the while exhibiting blatantly racist attitudes. This woman is an excellent example of White Privilege, as defined in Keywords for American Cultural Studies. She does not have to think about if her attitudes are racist, because she is white. Her body is not plundered because of her race. She can afford to be dreaming.
The second time Coates is shocked by people living the dream comes when he learns of the death of Prince Jones. Specifically, the shock comes when he...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of the "Dream" In Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me" - University of Tennessee-knoxville/English 331 - Essay

Literary Analysis of “Between the World and Me” By Richard Wright

912 words - 4 pages The past persists in disclosing the forgotten injustices suffered in sacrifice for the preceding generations. In doing so, the grief and mourning in the present invades the soul following the physical evidence of torment undiluted with time. In “Between the World and Me”, Richard Wright identifies the universal truth that in order to truly understand another person's suffering, one must move from mere sympathy to empathy with the sufferer

Connecting in class learnings to the outside world - university of michigan english - essay

943 words - 4 pages reality though this is how many companies operate. They have to understand the norms of society in order to effectively position their various products in the market place. Standards of society impact more than personal actions but also the larger business world.   3   Widespread media and stories emphasize these norms of men and women taking on certain roles in society. The firefighter example used in class demonstrates in another way how the

What evidence is there of interaction between the world of Fairies and the mortal world in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream?'

612 words - 2 pages The Fairies are not introduced until the second act of the play but there is a great deal of evidence within the first scene of Act two to suggest that they interact with the mortal world.During the time Shakespeare was writing people had superstitions about the natural world. People carried lucky charms, plants that were associated with magic and precious stones to protect themselves from evil or bad luck. People saw a clear link between what

Expressionism in Machinal and the Rover - University of Saskatchewan, English 112 - Essay

785 words - 4 pages Miskolczi 1 Miskolczi 4 Emily Miskolczi Professor Cotts English 112.3 28 March 2017 Expressionism in Machinal and The Rover Machinal and The Rover are remarkable works of literature. Sophie Treadwell and Aphra Behn pushed the social boundaries within their plays during the times they were written. Both authors show their opinions on how their cultures viewed women through two important characters in the plays, Helen Jones and Florinda. Helen

Analysis of Catherine Parr Traill's The Backwoods of Canada - ENGLISH 372 (University of Calgary) - Literary Essay

828 words - 4 pages Fereidoon Tavassoli English 372 October 4th, 2017 Dr. Donna Coates Essay #1 A Woman’s Essential Handbook to the Canadian Way of Life “The Backwoods of Canada” is a collection of letters documenting Catherine Parr Trail’s immigration from England to Canada. She describes all the hardships and discoveries associated with her experience in settling into this novel country. Traill provides an educational narrative for upper middle-class women who

Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie

1947 words - 8 pages The Reality of Illusions: Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Reflective of the depressed age it was written in, Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, reveals a host of antisocial personalities, each with their own psychosis and methodology of self-medicating. This glimpse into the lives of the Wingfield family’s dysfunction is both sobering and memorable. When brought to the stage as was originally

Comparison essay between Margaret Atwood's "This is a Photograph of Me" and "Morning in the Burned House"

904 words - 4 pages Now You See Me, Now You Don'tIllusion is often mistaken for reality. Poet Margaret Atwood's poems, "This is a Photograph of Me" and "Morning in the Burned House" can be compared in terms of writing style, and theme. In "This is a Photograph of Me" Atwood writes using a combination of contrasting, irony, and symbolism, while in the poem "Morning in the Burned House" she uses irony, and symbolism in order to enhance the writing style and the

English Communication Problems in the Philippines and the Consciousness of Today's Youth Essay by aninel, University, Bachelor's, May 2004

985 words - 4 pages analytic, speculative, orinterpretative.2.anything resembling such a composition: a picture essay.3.an effort to perform or accomplish something; attempt.4.Philately. a design for a proposed stamp differing in any way fromthe design of the stamp as issued.5.Obsolete . a tentative effort; trial; assay.Relevant QuestionsWhat is a polyglot?What is the difference between omnipotent and omniscient?What is the difference between opine and opinion?What is the

Pursuit of the American Dream in Catch Me If You Can and Blow

1030 words - 4 pages Pursuit of the American Dream in “Catch Me If You Can” and “Blow” “Catch Me If You Can” is a true story based on a man who cheated large corporations out of their money, after growing up in a small town in poverty. “Blow” is very similar in that it is based on the true events of a man who worked the drug cartel for millions of dollars, after growing up with his parents in the slums. The main characters in these films both use two different

Loyalty as the most important value in the world of Beowulf - University of Bielefeld - Essay

1351 words - 6 pages 1 Loyalty as the most important value in the world of Beowulf The epic poem Beowulf was first composed between 680 and 800 by an unknown poet (Crossley-Holland 67) in the age of the Anglo-Saxons (Crossley-Holland 69). Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf: A new Translation, published in 2000, will be used as primary source. It is set in Sweden and Denmark where the Swedish warrior Beowulf saves the mead hall from King Hrothgar of the Scyldings in Denmark

Immigrants of Mexico: Living the Dream? - College English - Essay

1481 words - 6 pages barriers to receiving medical services in the United States. This negatively affects their physical and emotional well-being since no insurance restricts their access to a wide range of health, prevention, diagnostic and treatment services and rehab. According to data collected by the Current Population Survey, the Evans number of uninsured Mexican immigrants has almost doubled between 1994 and 2012, from 3.3 million to 6.4 million. In 2012

Similar Essays

The Relationship Between Man And The Gods In Oedipus The King University Of Houston/English Essay

811 words - 4 pages 1 English 3312 October 31, 2017 Oedipus The King Oedipus The King unravels as a murder mystery, a political thriller, and a psychological whodunit. Throughout the course of this fabled story of patricide and incest, Sophocles demonstrates the irony of a man’s determination to hunt down, reveal, and punish a murderer, who in the end ultimately turns out to be himself. In the opening scene of the play, the citizens of Thebes beg their king

The Connection Between American Dream And The Great Gatsby George Washington University Essay

914 words - 4 pages . However, as a matter of fact, Gatsby fails to get marry with Daisy. They are not the same class at all. To step over that huge obstacle, Gatsby would no longer belong to himself. It is hard for him to dissociate himself from romantic ideal and the mere making of money. The conflict between the Gatsby’s dream and the real world is obviously presented in his well-imaged autobiography. In order to meet the value of American popular culture, he makes

A Midsummer Night's Dream And Me. The Essay On A Midsummer Night's Dream Is About My Personal Reaction Toward The Theme Of Unrequited Love Between Several Of The Characters

1302 words - 5 pages two newfound suitors chased after her. In some cases, it's rather easy for someone to accept the idea of refusal and rejection. When something like refusal becomes routine, a change can throw a person off-balance, no matter how much that change may have been longed for.Another way that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream had an effect on me was in regards to my writing. I write short stories and novellas quite often. Most of them are reflective

Analogy Between Dorothea Brooke And St Theresa In Middlemarch? University Of New England Ist Year English Uni Assignmnent

553 words - 3 pages What in your view is the key function of the extended analogy between Dorothea Brooke and St Theresa in Middlemarch? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The analogy between Dorothea Brooke and St Theresa, illustrated largely in the prelude and the finale of Middlemarch, serves primarily to draw parallels between two lives; that of an ordinary lay woman and that of a saint. In doing so, the novel draws comparisons and documents the similar beliefs and