Turning Pages

The extract Turning Pages written in a first-person narrative focuses on how books have influenced Sotomayor throughout his adolescence. A thought that came to my mind after reading this extract would be how predominant books are up until this day. It contains so much knowledge from the past which could be passed on to contemporary use. For instance, Sotomayor used a story from Jesus to show us how we shouldn’t be so quick to judge people who did wrong things, as sometimes, we humans make mistakes. This story not only taught him how he should treat other people but would soon play a role in him being a lawyer after university. After reading the extract, I noticed how Sotomayor tends to use similes, metaphors, and imagery in his writing. However, he is fonder of Metaphors, comparing books or the library to his values. Some examples include “The library was my harbor”, “Books were teachers” and “Books were lenses.” There were also occurrences of both metaphors and imagery throughout the extract, such as “I felt like I was drowning” and “Books were my snorkel and flippers,” respectively. Overall, I believe that books could be an authentic source of knowledge. However, due to the society’s technological development over the years, the internet also poses as a very favorable source of knowledge for me.

Letter to Langston Hughes

Dear Langston Hughes,

In our English class, we had to read a few of your poems. I realized that most of your poems use jazz and black folk rhythms. I also see you discussing topics such as the hardships of the black working-class lives and how the blacks are being mistreated, which I admire. your writing style allows me to understand how much hard work it took for the blacks to be whom they are today, while also learning about the history of the blacks.

One of your poems that I enjoyed analyzing is “Negro”. After reading this poem I was able to learn a lot about the history of the blacks while relating this poem to what problems the blacks still encounter in our society today. Throughout the poem, you used the words “slave”, “worker”, “singer” and “victims” to show what a negro does in the past. You also used “I brushed the boots of Washington” (6) to show the history of the blacks since after reading this line, I was able to identify that you were referring to the enslavement period. In the poem, you also used lines such as “They still lynch me in Mississippi” (16) to show what problems the blacks still encounter today, since you wanted us to understand the oppression of the past which is still happening today.

Another poem that I enjoyed analyzing of yours is “Dream Boogie”. In this poem, you wanted to show how the blacks were not being understood and that the white people should listen in which I have found interesting. However, how you have shown it was more compelling, you made us listeners assume that it is a happy beat “Listen closely: You’ll hear their feet Beating out and beating out a -” (4-7), while subtly trying to get us to understand “Listen to it closely: Ain’t you heard something underneath like a -” (10-13), but you decided to give up since us listeners don’t understand “What did I say?” (16).

After reading your poems, I hope that the messages of your poems would get spread out more broadly since numerous people around the world don’t understand how big the issue is in the messages of the poems you are conveying. Lastly, I would like to thank you for all your hard work and also for giving me the opportunity to read and analyze your poems.

Sincerely,

Jasper