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Compare/Contrast

In: Social Issues

Submitted By siickxcrunkk
Words 994
Pages 4
Janelle Lebron
Professor Christine Reeves
English 101
22 November 2014
Just Walk On By vs. Girl

Short stories, novels, and even articles today usually hold a meaning that can be rewritten in many different ways, but still gets the deeper gist of the story. It does not matter if the story is fiction or based on actual events, the message that is meant to get across will almost effortlessly. Just Walk On By and Girl are unlike in minor and immense ways, a couple significant differences are the time period and the narrator’s gender. In spite of the differences, Just Walk On By and Girl show very important similarities which are the longing to fit into social standards and how African American’s are treated by others. Together these short stories can bring out many wonderful meanings, either parallel or diverse, but an overall great lesson to learn from each story. The reading Just Walk On By and Girl both narrators have the longing to fit in among their peers due to social standards. The narrators want to feel a sense of acceptance, even if it means giving up their individuality. In both short stories, it is implied that by following a routine of “how to act” the speakers will stay in their path of acceptance. In Girl, the speaker is inside her own thoughts of how to stay accepted, and towards the end of the story she states “…you are really going to be that kind of woman the baker won’t let near the bread?” (Kincaid) This powerful statement is said for the reader to understand that the speaker is reinforcing to herself to continue to be what is expected of her. A similar scenario in Just Walk On By would be when Staples, the narrator, would take the train in his work clothes. Staples would be treated with more respect by the train riders rather than him in a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Social situations like these would make the narrator take on the task of making sure the people around him feel more comfortable over his own personal comfort. Another strong comparison between the two short stories would be the narrator’s both being of African American decent. African Americans sometimes suffer a harder time fitting into social situations due to their history and constantly being looked down upon. Girl and Just Walk On By equally manage to show the hardships of being African American and how to manage around nationalities that are not as accepting. Staples, from Just Walk On By, describes a night when he is walking home, and people walking past him would speed walk, hold their purse a little tighter, or even cross the street, due to him being an African American. In the walkers eyes he could be dangerous. Staples began experimenting and found that humming a well-known Beethoven tune would help soothe the nervous of the person walking past him, making them more at ease. In the background of Girl evidence is provided to inform us the time period of the story is during the slavery outlaw in Britain. Gaining independence during that time period made it very vital for African American’s to be able to be like anyone that is not of African descent. Despite the similarities between both articles there are also differences the reader has to account for. One enormous difference is the time period Just Walk On By and Girl are set in. Just Walk On By time period is very modern. It is known that the time period is modern due to trains and city life referenced in the passage. Girl’s background informs us that the time period the narrator is speaking from is the sixteenth to seventeenth century. This time period gap can present many differences due to humans evolving over the course of time. Human’s that were alive during the sixteenth/seventeenth century had different views on cultural standards along with morals as opposed to today. Today humans are more open minded to diversity and taking interest in others values that are presented to them. While reading over these two articles the reader must keep in mind the time period and take that into a strong consideration before making any comparison. Additionally, a very essential difference to take into concern is the gender difference in both narrators. The narrator of Just Walk On By is a male and the narrator of Girl is a female. Gender becomes a problem in comparing these two articles if you role reverse the situation. If it was a girl walking home, instead of a male in the story referenced in Just Walk On By, night walkers would not be scared or nervous to cross paths. A female is occasionally looked upon as harmless while a male could be dangerous. Taking into thought genders can also provide a better understand of the point of view the narrator is coming from. A female usually tends to understand other females better than a male would and vice versa. Genders can be the reason the reader fully understands a narrator’s feelings in the passage or not. In conclusion, many stories are going to have differences and similarities, but all that is going to matter is the general purpose of the reading. Some stories will even be fiction, but manage to still have a lovely concept behind it that will stick with a reader. Stories with such diverse and cultural meanings are timeless classics for many readers to enjoy. Just Walk On By and Girl have pronounced differences that are to be taken into consideration while comparing the two articles. Together these articles, despite the differences, manage to present a beautiful message to the readers for years to come.
Works Cited
Kincaid, Jamacia. "Girl (Fiction)." Patterns For College Writing-A Rhetorical Reader And Guide,12E (2012). Print.
Staples, Brent. "Just Walk On By" Patterns For College Writing-A Rhetorical Reader And Guide 12E (2012): Print.

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