1. Why did The New Republic include the first paragraph? Do you think the essay would be more or less effective if it began simply with the sentence "On July 27, 1995, my sixteen-year -old nephew was shot and paralyzed"?
Dickerson had her first paragraph as it was to show us her background before she talks about the issued at hand. She wants to show us that she is well-educated and that she has worked her way through life to get a respectable job despite having few privileges in childhood. She tells us this so that we know that she is not just some angry parent/guardian expressing an opinion but instead someone who wants to bring about a change. I feel the essay would be less effective by starting it with "On July 27, 1995, my sixteen-year -old nephew was shot and paralyzed"? because people would think when reading this essay that this woman, this aunt, came from a bad family who raised up gangster kids and is now complaining because one of them got shot.
Instead she shows that she is educated and that her family acted morally and were the victims of some gang bangers.
2. Dickerson feels--and expresses--anger throughout this essay. How? Against what or whom?
Dickerson expresses her feelings of anger not only toward the person who shot Johnny but to everyone who does such things. Her anger is directed at individuals who steal, beat, rape, murder. She is angry at everyone who has ever ruined the lives of others. She refers to these people as "He" or "brother". She refers to them as this because she feels they are all the same and have no individuality and are "total losers".
3. Why does Dickerson use the term "brother" in the final...