“Barack Obama: Miles Traveled, Miles to Go” by Erin Kaplan Essay (Critical Writing)
The work of Erin Kaplan called “Barack Obama: Miles Traveled, Miles to Go” is set when Barack Obama became the first black American president of U.S.A. It gives the cheerful attitude of the African Americans after his election in 2009. The setting reveals the struggle, among the blacks, for freedom and equality. It comes as a success after the fight of Martin Luther King Jr. in ending racism. The happiness is halted in 2010 when Obama gets into office and starts facing challenges as a president. The author argues that the challenges are a result of his race as an African American. However, the plot of the work can be divided into two sections. The first one is the 2009 rise of Obama to the presidency, and the other one is the part where Obama experienced challenges as the president in 2010. However, the author uses a mixed tone because optimism is seen during 2009 and sympathy during 2010. Her optimism can be seen when she says, “…in the beginning Barack Obama was Gerald, was Dwayne… and all are equally possible” (Kaplan 541). The author also uses a simile in the elaboration of the images on the tattoo shop. She says, “…cuts across the pale brick walls like flesh wounds …like it’s a church hall” (Kaplan 541).
Racism is the social behavior revealed in Erin’s work that exists in the political sphere of America (Novkov 649). Currently, race plays a major role in American politics and introduces a complete paradigm shift in American politics. However, there has been a political fight between the American races. The groups involved believes that having their members in most of the political post translates to them having a better life. According to Polisky (51), the result of such racism is the development of “partisan regimes.”
Kaplan, Erin Aubry. “Barack Obama: Miles Traveled, Miles to Go.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. Ed. Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. 540- 552. Print.
Novkov, Julie. “Rethinking Race in American Politics.” Political Research Quarterly 61.4 (2008): 649- 659. Print.
Polsky, Andrew J. “Partisan Regimes in American Politics.” Polity 44.1 (2012): 51- 80. Print.
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