Zora Neale Hurston's Diction

Decent Essays

“How It Feels To Be Colored Me”, a piece by Zora Neale Hurston, was written to allow readers to look through the eyes of a colored woman. Specifically, a colored woman living in early segregated America. Hurston described her experiences through emotion, credibility, reasoning, and appropriate timing. With these techniques, she clearly displayed pathos, ethos, logos, and kairos in her writing. Through these appeals, she successfully creates a strong case for her purpose in writing the essay. She intended to not only share her experiences, but to let readers perceive her emotions as well. Hence, the title stating how it “feels” to be her. Readers can feel the emotional appeal in Hurston’s writing through her diction. Her choice of words …show more content…

Since readers develop feelings like these, Hurston successfully establishes a pathos appeal through her descriptions and diction. Additionally, ethos is another appeal Hurston used to make her claim. In fact, her entire essay is worth credibility, because she is indeed a colored person who lived through this time period. “I AM COLORED but I offer nothing in the way of extenuating circumstances except the fact that I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother's side was not an Indian chief.” (Hurston, 1.1) From the very beginning, she is credible for trying to get the point across. She states that she is a colored person who is not ashamed of who she is, therefore she would never try to become someone she is not. To Hurston, the color of her skin makes her no different from anyone else, despite what others may think during this time period. Furthermore, in Hurston’s essay I believe ethos and pathos go hand in hand, solely because her credibility in telling these stories appealed to the senses. Readers can easily visualize and get a sense of how the situations went about as she described them from her point of view Her ability to describe her encounter with white people makes her a credible source, and it left the audience feeling sympathetic. Thus, this is her use of ethos and pathos. Eventually, her credibility leads to an opposing element. It is

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