“Sometimes You Have to Pick the Gun Up to Put the Gun Down” Essey
“Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the gun down.” This quote was said by Malcolm X, who was an African American Minister and a human rights activist.It means that sometimes you have to fight in order to achieve peace.I agree with what he said because in order to get what you want you have to fight for it.
Two literary works that reflect this quote are Fences, a play about the struggles of African American before and during the Civil Rights Era in the 1950s and 60s, by August Wilson and “The Yellow Wallpaper” a short story that shows the difference between women and men during that time, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
‘Fences’ shows the revolution the characters face, their actions and what is the result of those choices. Whereas, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is about how the wife struggles to speak against her husband.
She shows revolution when her husband tells her not to write but she secretly writes in her journal. Both literary pieces, Fences, by Wilson and The Yellow Wallpaper by Perkins Gilman, shows how the lack of communication, the lack of acknowledgment and the demand for changes shows how the characters fight for what they want.
The play Fences is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1950 and ‘60s by August Wilson. August Wilson was named Frederick August Kittel when he was born to a German father and an African American mother in 1945. When Wilson was sixteen, he was accused of plagiarism at school when he wrote a sophisticated paper that the administration didn’t believe he could write.
The principal suspended him and later ignored his attempts to come back to school. Wilson soon dropped out of school and educated himself at the local library. Wilson got involved himself in the black power movement while he worked on his poetry and short stories.
The characters Wilson includes in his play Fences are Troy,the main character, where he struggles to carry his family; Rose,Troy’s wife who is a typical 1950s house wife; Cory, who is the son of Troy and Rose, wants to be like Troy in the beginning, but fights with Troy for he tries to take his dream of a football career from him.
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” is set in the 19th century in America by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on July 4, 1860, in Hartford, Connecticut. At the age of five Gilman taught herself how to read, because her mother was sick. In 1884 she married an artist Charles Walter Stetson.
Their only child Katherine Beecher Stetson, was born the following year. Gilman suffered a postpartum depression in the months after Katharine’s birth. After her mother died she decided to move back east, where she met her cousin Houghton Gilman, who she had not seen in fifteen years. She married Houghton and moved to Norwich, Connecticut. After Houghton died,with cerebral hemorrhage in 1934, she moved back to Pasadena, California. In January 1932, Gilman was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. Gilman committed suicide on August 17, 1935 by taking an overdose of chloroform.
In the play Fences, ‘the lack of communication’ between Troy and Cory shows revolution. Cory is scared of Troy so he could not talk to him. Troy is always bossing around Cory, so Cory feels distance towards his dad. “All you ever did was try and make me scared of you . I used to tremble every time you called my name. Every time I heard your footsteps in the house.
Wondering all the time…. what’s Papa gonna say if i do this?…. What’s he gonna say if I do that? … What’s Papa gonna say if I turn on the radio?” (Wilson 86-87). This quote states that Cory was scared of Troy and could not speak to him, and thought about how his actions affect the way his father acts and speaks towards him.
The literary techniques Wilson shows is repetition. Repetition is a way that the writer conveys how important Cory’s feelings are and how concerned someone is. The repetition of the words “What’s pappa gonna say” shows how Cory is too concerned about the relationship between his dad and himself. The lack of communication between father and son cause Cory to revolt towards his dad.
The lack of acknowledgment in the play Fences between Troy and Cory cause their relationship to decline even further. One of the greatest sources of disappointment in Troy’s life is the fact that he wasn’t allowed to play pro baseball, Even though he used to hit homeruns in the Negro Leagues, he couldn’t go to the majors because of racial discrimination. He doesn’t let Cory play football, because he doesn’t want Cory to feel what he felt during his time.
Troy’s lack of acknowledgment of Cory’s potential destroys Cory’s dream by not signing the papers and not letting the college recruiter from coming. “I got sense enough not to let my boy get hurt playing no sports”(Wilson 39) He unconsciously stats that he doesn’t want Cory to feel how he felt during his time. This quote references flashback because in this quote Troy refers back to what had happened to him during his athletic career, and how it affected his life.
In this quote he speaks like a father who is making decisions for his son and his future, even though the people around him is telling him that the time has changed and it is not like before. Troy’s lack of acknowledgment causes Cory to lose his dream and late Cory to leave the house.