Power of One Word

1899 WordsDec 15, 20108 Pages
The Power of a Word A single word can be used to belittle, hurt, and humiliate. One word can cause so much hurt to a person that they burst into tears or spiral down into a damaging hole that they can 't get out of for an extended amount of time. Throughout history, names have been used to keep a population in its place. Insults have been hurled to make a single person understand what another thinks of them. Words are used all the time to cause damage to a person or an entire peoples soul. One word can have a lot of power. In “What 's in a Name?”, Henry Louis Gates father was a well respected negro in his community. Maybe the better way to put it is more respected. He worked two jobs, and being more financially successful…show more content…
They talk about ice cream, which Jefferson wants for his last meal, and Grant brings him a radio. This reminds Jefferson of his humanity, and he thinks maybe Grant is trying to do him some good. Grant had been struggling with his own demons since he came back to his hometown after college. He no longer believes in God and is bitter and beat down by the way black people are treated. He separates himself from his community because he thinks that he no longer belongs. He thinks that his family and friends don 't understand how white people keep them all in their place, and that they are weak because they just accept it. He never wanted to help Jefferson and thought he would never be able to make a difference. Breaking through to Jefferson makes him realize that as much as he hates the way life is in their small town, he does belong. He is a part of it and the people. He can finally understand what Jefferson 's aunt wanted him to do, and explains to Jefferson that he can die a man, that Jefferson can go to the chair with so much dignity that he strengthens the whole community. They all owe something to each other, and like it or not, they should all be trying to help each other out. Jefferson realizes that since he loves his aunt he should learn to “be a man” so she can have peace when he dies. When he finally goes to the chair, he is a man. He dies with dignity and leaves his mark behind. White men know deep in
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