The poem, We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn Brooks speaks through the voice of a young clique who believes

500 WordsApr 23, 20192 Pages
The poem, We Real Cool, by Gwendolyn Brooks speaks through the voice of a young clique who believes it is “real cool.” Using slang and simple language to depict the teenage voice in first person, Brooks’s narrators explain that they left school to stay out together late at night, hanging around pool halls, drinking, causing trouble, and meeting girls. Their lifestyle, though, will ultimately lead them to die at a young age. But, despite an early death, the narrator expresses that they are “real cool” because of this risky routine. Through her poem, Brooks’s shows the ironic consequence of acting “cool”: it leads to death. Brooks’s diction in We Real Cool allows her to make a short and simple poem extremely complex. She writes only…show more content…
We die soon.” The reader envisions these teenagers having fun – going out late, singing, drinking, dancing – and then, without any transition, Brooks’s throws her message in the reader’s face: they will die. There is no gradual release of this idea throughout the poem. Brooks’s intends for the reader to be surprised and a bit shaken. She wants her young audience to think of themselves doing all of the things her narrators are doing and then, without warning, force them to envision themselves dying as a result. Her intention is push young people to think about their own lifestyle and question whether it’s “cool” to die young for fun. Gwendolyn Brooks’s We Real Cool aims to reach a young audience of readers who can relate to her narrators, a group of teens in a “cool” clique. Through a strong first person voice with a care-free yet arrogant tone, she is able to express her theme: living a free and rebellious lifestyle can lead to an early death. Many young people who live in the way she describes are not aware that the “cool” life is most likely a short one. Brooks uses few words to express her theme, but each word is chosen wisely to create a rhythmic poem that attracts her target audience. Through a strong shift at the end, Brooks is able to shock her readers with an ironic message that leaves them thinking about the poem long after they have put it down. Her intention is that
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