Ches Foster Garcia English II -2 2 February 2012 11 Sentence Essay In the short story “Shame” by Dick Gregory, the use of repetition, imagery, and tone vividly depicts Gregorys experiences as a child battling racism and poverty in his hometown. In the story, when Gregory uses the phrase “l was pregnant with poverty. Pregnant with dirt and pregnant with smells that made people turn away, etc. “, he describes the pain and embarrassment he had to deal with because of his color and inancial situation (Gregory).
Gregory uses the term “pregnant” as a way to depict how the negative feelings coming from the problems he faced slowly grew within him such as a child growing in a pregnant mother’s body. These feelings show the despair that Gregory has been presented with because of the racism of the time and his poverty. The imagery in the sentence “There was shame in wearing the brown and orange and white plaid mackinaw the welfare gave to three thousand boys” uses ubtle details such as the color and pattern of the coat to create a mental image for the reader.
This coat that is being portrayed is an indication of the money-hungry nature of Gregorys family. The welfare, or charity, gave the mackinaws to the poor boys at the Worthy Boys Annual Christmas Dinner and Gregory felt ashamed of it. When Gregory says “l loved her for her goodness, cleanness, and popularity’, referring to Helene Tucker, his tone becomes rather infatuated as he swoons over his ream girl.
His love for Helene Tucker is one of the things that kept him optimistic about his life while everything else was going pretty badly. The love Gregory had for this girl helped him overcome many of the problems and feelings he had during his childhood. In the end, Gregorys use of many literary techniques does a very good Job to illustrate him overcoming all of the problems he was faced with, whether it was racism and bigotry or his financial issues.