Essay Sample: Critical Analysis of the Postcard “Just Two Coons” and the song “The Great Pretenders”

Analysis of the postcard: Just Two Coons

The postcard ‘Just two Coons’ is a very representational postcard. It is one amongst the many caricatures of the black Americans. The postcard has a lot that one can identify and associate with the historical manipulation and disgrace that the African Americans faced (Branscombe, Schmitt & Harvey 135). From the context of the African Americans being discussed as pretending to be good, the postcard is a good example of that demeanor. The postcard seems to have been developed back in the 1600s. Precisely, it was developed in the year 1663. Thus, it is considered to be a series 1663. That must have been during the same period that slavery was at the highest niche. African Americans were undergoing a revolutionized form of oppression. There were not any specific forms of complaints. They seemed to be alright even at the worst moments.

The postcard represents a black man. Preferably, it represents a black African. First, the attire and the manner of dressing signifies some extent of poverty. Commencing from the head, the African American large caps that seems to be an attire that is useful for work. Further, the man does not have clothes to cover his upper part of the body. Arguably, the whites of this era had already managed to have clothes for the upper part of the body. The only thing that the man in the postcard can afford is the piece of clothing to wrap his lower parts of the body.

Further, the black man to have managed to secure some footwear. Unfortunately, the black man only possesses one shoe. The whereabouts of the other must have been that the man lost it, or the man did not manage to secure both shoes. The nature of the shoe itself shows intensive dilapidation. The man shows some degree of joy on the face. He is smiling. That could be a real sign of hypocrisy. The man is just pretending to be alright. He is holding a Coon. The corn is a small animal with distinct features. The two could have some level of commonality.

The significant motifs in this postcard include the embrace that the black man gives to the Coon (Tishkoff, Reed, Friedlaender, Ehret, Ranciaro, and Froment& Williams 1035). From a professional point of view, the black man is usually represented as a Coon. Therefore, the two figures are Coons. Further, there is the shoe, and the piece of clothing are a relation to the level of poverty and trouble that the Blackman was undergoing during the slavery period in America. The caption stipulates Two Coons. The caption shows the extent to which the African man was represented in an animalistic way. That is; the African man was not treated up to the standards of a normal human being (Black 35). The caption is a representation of what the postcard’s picture shows. The cool embrace that the man gives to the fellow Coon. There is a feasibility of indicating that the two features are the same according to the postcard.

The entire Postcard presents the perspective of the Blackman and his position on slavery in America. Therefore, there are several motifs that the postcard represents. The first one is the Coon. The coon is a symbol of what Africans are in the eyes and view of the Americans. The term coon is used to regard the Blackman offensively (Tishkoff, 1040). The black man is deemed inferior in the postcard. The postcard goes ahead to feature the single bare foot of the black man. The fact that the man is wearing one shoe and is less one shows the degree of poverty. There is a feasibility of hope in the black man’s life, however. However, there is the scenario where the man is smiling. The smile is as a hypocritical smile. The black history of America features intensive pressure and suffering of the African American. The context where the man smiles is just an ironic gesture of happiness. The utter truth is that the man is undergoing intensive suffering and ridicule with the society he serves.

The postcard was published in the year 1907. However, it was made in the black era or the slavery era. That was approximately between 1619 and1789. Precisely, that was within the 16th and 17th century. The facilitating factor of this postcard was the slave trade that took place in the Western part of Africa and America (Branscombe, Schmitt & Harvey, 135). Thus, the moment that the postcard was developed was filled with intense racism and cruel treatment of the slaves. Thus, the representation of African in an offensive manner would have been one approach by the Native Americans to ridicule the Africans. Thus, the acceptability of postcard was facilitated by the intensive inequality between the African Americans and the Native Americans.

From a historical point of analysis, the postcard would have intended to irritate and ridicule the black man in America. It was used to show the kind of people and trouble they were living. Alternatively, it could have been drawn to address the problems that the black Americans were facing as slaves in America. The smile on the face of the black American on the postcard. It shows how willing that the Blackman is willing to overcome the social attitudes they face (Branscombe, Schmitt & Harvey, 135). The blacks were subject to intensive prejudice. The blacks might have been trying to secure some extent of freedom and acceptability in the society. Thus, the postcard tends to show the smile as a sign of willingness to get appreciated in the society. Unfortunately, the social relations at the moment was destitute. The whites despised the blacks immensely. The racial prejudice was at the top niche. Therefore, the level of mistreatment was also very high. At this time, there were very few vocal black Africans who did not fear execution. The societal imbalance continued for a long time.

The great pretender- the platters

The song is in a very complex manner. Arguably, the song seems like a love song. The lyrics seem to show someone’s efforts in expressing what he or she feels about the entire situation he or she is facing. Alternatively, it seems like a lamentation song. The lyrics tend to reflect some sense of lamenting over the challenges and feelings. The song, therefore, tries to establish extensive conceptualization of what pain and suffering the singer is undergoing (The Great Pretender Lyrics 1). On the other side, the song might be taking an indirect approach to some social issues facing singer. Thus, the author tries to exhibit all the feelings that have been transpiring in him and that he or she cannot hold within any longer. The song also takes the nature and form of a narrative. The narrator tries to conceptualize his tribulations he or she is undergoing.

The song can take the form of a narrative in the contexts as explained. The song commences by expressing the feeling that the narrator is a great pretender. That shows that there is a great possibility he is facing a hard time trying to live with some social issues. For instance, he says that he pretends to be doing well. That implies that the reality is that he is not doing well. Further, the song indicates the extent to which the loneliness is encroaching him is that of loneliness (The Great Pretender Lyrics 2). However, the greatest trouble is that no one can tell that there is trouble. The song goes on to extend that the extent in which the singer is wandering is impeccable. The problem is that the singer is just wavering within his only life. The extent of pretense seems to be eating him up. He insists that he is not in a position to pretend anymore. The results of pretense are not that good. They are resulting in shame.

The song tries to establish the difference between the actual person that the singer is and what the new environment tries to make him believe. It is quite dangerous that the reality is too much for the singer to forget the real self. The song explains the hazardous extents to which the singers is to by the act of pretending. For instance, he tends to laugh and even assume the status of being gay (The Great Pretender Lyrics 4). Unfortunately, the pretense is making things different from the reality. For instance, the singer says that the conditions are making him assume a different position from what he is. However, the pretense are subjected to the torments assuming that whatever the singer misses is still within the vicinity. However, the song declares that it is impossible to continue concealing these feelings.

The song is the clear representation of what the whites consider the African Americans. Arguably, the initial lyrics of the sign try to establish the essentiality of home and where they came. The author says that there is something he misses. In search a scenario, the song reflects on freedom for the African Americans as imperative and is what the African American is missing (Branscombe, Schmitt & Harvey 135). He may not manage show it because there is not any form or chance for the freedom to come up soon.

The song tries to show that the African American is a great pretender. He assumes that everything is very well when the Americans or the whites are mistreating and misrepresenting the reality of the black man (Giddens 11). For instance, the song stipulates that the singer seems to be what he is not. That implies that the African American is assumed and perceive differently from what he. The real personality of the black American is assumed to be of inferior status than that of the white man. Unfortunately, the black man has no option but to assume and live with the false status of inferiority as assumed by the whites. However, the reality of the black man is that he is special. That is why he manages to wear his heart like a crown and try to live with the perception that he is of an inferior status (The Great Pretender Lyrics 4).

The social-historical context of the song seems to conceptualize times prior to slavery and times within slavery. First, the slaves were deprived of their human rights. The major issue with the history of slavery in America against the African Americans was that the racial prejudice was too much. The whites considered the Americans as inferior. Thus, they were not supposed to enjoy any form of freedom to converge with the whites in social and economic activities. Thus, the most prevalent assumption of the social-historical context of the song was the inferiority and superiority of the whites and blacks. The period between 16th and 17 century was filled with utter infringement of the rights for the inferior groups such as the African Americans.

Comparison and contrast between the song and postcard

First, the song and the postcard try to establish a clear identification of what racial prejudice existed between the Africans and the whites during and even after the slavery era. They give a clear representation of what the whites thought and considered the blacks (Branscombe, Schmitt & Harvey 135). The reality is that the each piece of literature establishes motifs that show how inferior and underprivileged the African Americans tend. The only difference in representation is that the song is a written piece of literature. Alternatively, the postcard is a pictorial presentation of what the African American is. The songs give differentiated approaches to the fact that the African American was an inferior being. It is the reason that the postcard represents human beings as a coon. That shows how offensive and inconsiderate the whites are with regards to how they treat the African Americans.

…(download the rest of the essay above)