Critical Essay on We Real Cool

Essay by garatr0nCollege, UndergraduateB+, December 2012

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We Real Cool

Joe Sarnowski's article, "Critical Essay on We Real Cool", offers an interesting viewpoint on why readers align themselves on a certain side of a poem that features issues, and in particular the poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brookes. He goes on to explain that "while there is one poem, we can see that it has two opposing views" (para. 1) and that "the poem can be used as a dividing point between these two sides" (para. 1). The viewpoint for this poem is established in the beginning where it isolates the "seven pool players for examination, making the body of the poem the findings of this examination" (para. 2). The analysis of these first lines indicates that these seven are youth are "caught in a downward spiral that leads to death" (para. 2). The next line that says that they lurk late may indicate that they are sneaking around and committing criminal acts and also that they might be starting fights because of the line we strike straight.

Each of the lines appears to be describing the acts and behavior of these seven individuals as they edge closer to their eventual deaths. Sarnowski expresses that "the inevitable deaths of these young people are tragedies that could have been averted if only they would have stayed in school and stayed out of trouble" (par. 4). He also indicates that each of them gave up their own identity, and thus ability to think for one's self, to be part of the group. The actions of the seven indicate that "they have effectively expressed their rejection of the dominant culture…" (para. 6), because members of this "counterculture do not want to be respectable citizens" (para. 6) in the way that...