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The Heritage Of "None" Essay

774 words - 4 pages

The ninth paragraph of Barbara Ehrenreich's article "Cultural Baggage," is of great importance and is used well in tying together many thoughts and ideas the author has presented to us. Prior to this paragraph the author has built her article around self reflections and anecdotes to begin defining the central idea of what she later refers to as the "race of none" (Ehrenreich 49). This idea of the "none" will serve to describe a certain type of person and how they should fit in our world. There is also a subtle defense of the idea that it's okay not to believe in God.
A hint of irony is present at the start of this paragraph. Ehrenreich begins by telling us this epiphany of hers began ...view middle of the document...

For those of the author's audience like myself this defense helps in getting them more on her side. This epiphany is also what leads Ehrenreich down a new path, a path that says it's okay not to have a cultural or religious background.
The meat of the paragraph finally develops here. After establishing an opinion that a "none" could be a kind of race for a person Ehrenreich shows personal examples much like in the rest of the article. She traces from her parents to her great-great grandparents and realizes they all ditched the ideas of believing in a religion. In the following paragraph she thinks on how she was taught to perform duties like cooking or cleaning and never being told to do it in a manner befitting a way in which the previous generation performed that task. In a sense it's as if this idea of not belonging to a culture, performing ancestral traditions, or identifying with a certain religion is a tradition in and of itself for Ehrenreich's family. From that the foundation of the "none" was created. To Ehrenreich a "none" is a person who does not have a religion they belong to. The "none" also does not perform any traditions of the past. A "none" does not...

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