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This is the part of the edifice of society that society chooses to ignore. The merchant sold shoes, the politician sold his manhood, and the representative of the people, with exceptions, of course, sold his trust; while nearly all sold their honor.Lack of space compels me here to ignore it, and I shall say only that the things I there saw gave me a terrible scare. I saw the naked simplicities of the complicated civilization in which I lived. Women, too, whether on the street or in the holy bond of wedlock, were prone to sell their flesh.
Popular autobiographical essays, such as 'What Life Means to Me' by Jack London, and 'Notes of a Native Son' by James Baldwin, relied upon emotionally expressive language and lessons learned in hindsight, which made them of interest and relevant to readers.
When you're through with the video lesson on autobiographical essays, test your readiness to: Did you know…
When his father died, Baldwin lost all chance of mending the relationship.
By using expressive language, Baldwin not only engages readers, but also helps them become emotionally invested in his loss.
No one, including my father, seems to have known exactly how old he was, but his mother had been born during slavery. He, along with thousands of other Negroes, came North after 1919 and I was part of that generation which had never seen the landscape of what Negroes sometimes call the Old Country…' In his essay, Baldwin reflected upon his and his father's broken relationship.
Fueled by hatred and paranoia that originated from a dark past, Baldwin's father pushed the writer away.Readers will only care about the writer's life if he or she is emotionally invested.When writing an autobiographical essay, either for a class or for potential publication, there are three basic criteria to keep in mind.Unlike a biography, which is a true account of someone else's life, an autobiography is a focused account of a writer's life told from the writer's own point of view. Autobiographies are typically written in the first person, and use the pronoun, 'I', which makes it easier for the writer to reflect upon and provide some perspective on life events.Although autobiographical essays can be an abbreviated summary of an entire life, they usually focus on a certain accomplishment or experience.In his title essay, Baldwin unearths painful memories about his deceased father.Here's an excerpt: '…I had not known my father very well.All things were commodities, all people bought and sold…' By writing about his past self, London was able to reflect on his struggles and the horrid conditions forced upon the lower class.Notice how London dissects his emotions, such as his fear and repulsion when confronted with poverty.Try it risk-free In this lesson, we'll explore the definition and purpose of the autobiographical essay, including some famous literary examples.We'll also help you develop some tips for writing your own autobiographical essay.