The essay I was assigned was “Class Struggle 101” by Barbara Ehrenreich. The main theme was that of inequality amongst the social classes. I feel that “Ain’t I a Woman” by Sojourner Truth follows the same theme of inequality, though of a different kind. The struggles faced in each essay differ in many ways but are also very similar. In “Class Struggle 101,” we see that “the pay gradient from housekeeper (approximately $19,000/year) to president (more than $270,000 for Miami University’s James C. Garland and about $500,000 for Yale’s Richard Levin).” (Ehrenreich) In “Ain’t I a Woman,” Truth says “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?” (Truth) Each essay speaks of injustice and the hypocrisy. The tone and imagery are what stand out to me most in both works.
I feel that the tone is very similar in each work, that of frustration and being tired of how things are. It was easier for me to picture Truth standing and speaking to a group of people (almost like a town hall meeting). I don’t feel that the imagery pops as much with Ehrenreich’s essay, but I did visualize someone in a maid uniform alongside a man in a fancy suite. There was also a photo to accompany this essay, so it helped bring a visualization to the essay as well. I feel that the imagery and tone play equally important roles in affecting the way the theme is addressed. The tone brings the reader in and makes the reader and the imagery created helps the reader relate and, in a way, brings the reader to the side of those receiving the injustice and lack of equal treatment.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Class Struggle 101.” The Progressive, vol. 67, no. 11, 11, 2003, pp. 12-13. ProQuest, https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docview/231944352?accountid=8289
Truth, Sojouner. “Ain’t I a Woman.” Digital History, 31 July 2017, www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=4471