Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me Book Review

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In his novel “Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates utilizes a combination of diction, symbolism, and narratives in a well-organized structure to show the complexities of African American life in the United States. Through his use of these rhetorical devices, he demonstrates how these difficulties affect fatherhood and his desire to prosper to justify his argument. Coates incorporates good word choice throughout the novel to evoke the sorrow surrounding his struggles living as a black man in America, conveying a negative emotional feeling.

For instance, he utilizes words like “enslavement,’ “casual wrath,” and “rape” to communicate his feelings towards the severity of racial oppression (Coates 103). Strong word choice touches readers and creates an emotional connection. This could be due to readers’ personal experiences with oppression or racial discrimination. The achievement of these emotional responses in the audience generates the response that favors the objective of the author’s novel. This convinces readers of Coates’ argument and helps them trust what he is saying is true.

Additionally, Coates employs symbolism to give readers a visual picture of his journey as an African American residing in the United States. He introduces readers to Howard University, which he calls his ‘Mecca’ (Coates 39). It has personal meaning to him because it is where all blacks can be themselves, learn, love, and thrive without threat. However, despite this ‘Mecca,’ a place of security, readers are presented with the battlefields, which outline the tension between the whites and blacks. Coates describes America as a battlefield, where it is heritage “to destroy the black body” (Coates 103).

Just like how it is easy to wipe out a large number of people in war, Coates compares this to the relationship between the power of the white population and the vulnerability of the black Americans. This, yet again, evokes a negative mood and can allow the audience to be more inclined to believe his opinion.

Lastly, the overall structure of the novel adds to the effectiveness of Coates’ argument. The novel is divided into three parts: Coates’ personal experience as a young man, the death of Prince Jones, one of Coates’ classmates, and his visit with Mable Jones, Prince’s mother. This presentation is powerful because it touches all sides of the story; it presents more than one instance of racial inequality. These recounts, therefore, help add to the credibility of the author and his argument.

Cite this paper

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me Book Review. (2021, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ta-nehisi-coates-between-the-world-and-me-book-review/

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