Coming of Age in Mississippi vs. The Jungle Paper
There is an argument that states that Anne Moody's tale in Coming of Age in Mississippi
is a more optimistic tale then that of Jurgis Rutkis in The Jungle and vice versa. This is not the
case. When you take the time to analyze both story, you come to find that both have the same
pessimistic core. The only difference is the character Jurgis was optimist throughout most of the
beginning despite his circumstances yet in the end he loses all hope while Anne throughout was a
realist who was determined to succeed.
I feel that Anne Moody story is a blunt open description of how hard live was for Blacks.
Anne never minced words when it came to the events that took place in her life; a lot of which
involved troubling situations. Look at how she grew up. The book starts off during a time of Jim
Crow laws and share cropping. At this day and age in American history, the life of a black child
is a bleak one to say the least. At this time African American are treated only a little better than
slaves. This is a period in Southern America at the beginning ofthe Second World War. The
living conditions for many blacks were below substandard in this era; this is the circumstance for
many Negros who lived during Moody's early childhood. The home she lived with her mother
and biological father was of poor quality. In the book she describes the Negro living quarters on
Mr. Carter's plantation as "rotten little two-room shacks'''. The only difference for her and her
family was they had three-rooms which were placed on a hill facing the "Big House". The
differences in how whites and Blacks lived speak to the social norms of the time period.
Ms. Moody life experience of hard times did not stop her from working to better her life.
At this time it was not uncommon for young Black children to work she started in the fourth
grade. She was determined to seek out equality. These realities started when she became aware
of the differences in how Blacks are treated with in their race how light skinned were treated
better than dark skinned. "Raymond was going with a yellow woman at the same time he was
going with Mama. All of his people wanted him to marry her. They didn't want him to marry
Mama, who wasn't yellow and who was stuck with the three of us." This type of racism is
prevalent in the south during the pre Civil Rights period. Ms. Moody learns how badly White
People can treat Black by the death of Emmit Till.
When faced with the facts of Moody's life, it is not hard to figure out where the
inspiration and optimism comes in to play. A person can find hope when thinking about the
dedication and diligence she took in being a good student from elementary through high school.
The optimism comes from looking at how she scrapes together the money it took to go to
college. Even though she might have grown up with a hard life, she fought for different ways to
better it. Her diligence to have a better...