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Why Rosa Parks Is An Important African American Essay

When asked to compose an essay about one individual that deserves respect and recognition as a leader, the first person that comes to mind is Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks is a strong-willed and straight forward person. She has been called the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movements” and one of the most important citizens of the 20th century, she has also been called one of the greatest Civil Rights leaders ever. Mrs. Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger. She was tried and convicted of violating a local ordinance.

Rosa Parks is an example of courage and determination, an inspiring symbol for all African Americans to remain free. She helped to make her fellow African Americans aware of the history of the Civil Rights Movement to the best of her ability. This pioneer in the struggle for racial equality is the recipient of numerous honours, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize. Mrs. Parks helped blacks pass tests that had been set up to make it difficult for them to pass.

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Rosa Parks was a major factor in the fight for equal rights. She had enough courage not to give up her seat that day in 1955 on the city bus to that white person that was no better than she when seen through the eyes of those on the right track. She also helped start a boycott that kept blacks off city buses for a year. That boycott took part in the fight to equal rights. Her subsequent arrest and boycott became a powerful symbol of peaceful resistance for the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosa Parks exhibits many leadership qualities that I can relate to. One being, she stood up for herself and she also stood up against racism. It was harder for her because she was a woman. I, myself can relate to that being of female descent. In those days things were harder for women and still at this very moment it is still hard. Another leadership quality this lady that is owed great appreciation has is the fact that she gives everybody a positive outlook on life. She seems to be one of those people that boost you up by saying things like “You can do it”.

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There are many steps one must take to become a strong man or women. Just to discuss a few, the very first is you must have a positive attitude. Without that you will go absolutely nowhere. Next, you must have some set goals to accomplish. Without these set goals to accomplish, you have nothing to work towards. Lastly, you must stick to all positive aspects of life. Leave all negative things that may hinder you out of your pathway. As you see, it doesn’t take much to be a strong woman or man if you work to the best of your ability.

Rosa Parks’ hard work, charity, dedication, and willpower are what helped to give her the legacy that she carries today. She is a reluctant public figure whose life has been shaped by practicing what she preaches with integrity, caring, and citizenship.

Throughout the world’s history, people have been using writing as a way to express their feelings about various aspects of life. Many of these writers turn to poetry to illustrate these feelings in an artistic way. These poets are able to make a true work of art while at the same time discussing life’s numerous everyday challenges. Ernest Lawrence Thayer uses Casey at the Bat as a way to portray the spontaneity and uncertainty of daily life. This essay will show how Thayer uses enjambment, metaphor, simile, and tone color to express this spontaneity and uncertainty experienced by everyone each and every day.

Casey at the Bat utilizes enjambment to depict how things in life may not be what they appear to be. Thayer’s use of this element of aesthetic is as follows, “the rest clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.” Throughout the whole thirteen-stanza poem, enjambment is used only once. This example shows that even the structure of a poem can be uncertain or spontaneous just the same way life can be. In 1988 Stan Malless stated, “enjambment is particularly good for creating a feel of naturalistic motion in verse; after all, when you speak, you don’t pause after every five stresses, do you?” Some may argue that the only reason enjambment was used in this situation was because Thayer could not come up with anything relevant that would rhyme in that particular portion of the poem.

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Another element of aesthetic Ernest Thayer uses is a metaphor. He does this by saying, “and the former was a hoodoo and the latter was a cake.” Thayer was pointing out that Flynn and Blake were not star players like Casey and were not expected to get on base. In referring to them as a “hoodoo” and a “cake,” Thayer meant that they should be an easy out. However, they both reached base and this goes to show once again how things in life are not always what they appear to be. This use of metaphor is effective because as Derek Soles said in 2002, “a metaphor helps develop a character and clarify a character’s actions and motivation.” Critics may try to convince that the reason for calling Flynn and Blake a “hoodoo” and a “cake” was for comic relief, but Thayer’s true meaning will forever be debated.

In addition to enjambment and metaphor, Thayer also uses a simile to display the spontaneity of everyday life in Casey at the Bat. He compares the muffled roar of the crowd to storm-waves by saying, “like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.” Comparing the crowd’s roar to storm-waves is quite odd, for there are many other conventional and related things Thayer could have used to compare the roaring of the crowd after Casey let the first pitch go by. Nevertheless, Thayer used storm-waves for a reason, and this is to keep the audience guessing.

Thayer keeps his audience guessing in this masterpiece just the same way that everyone must keep guessing with the spontaneity and uncertainty of life. This particular use of simile was a great way to depict this valuable lesson. A simile is successful here because as Jeremy Hawthorn said in 1994, “a simile is a comparison with the purpose of clarifying or intensifying the objects being compared. Although, some may argue that angry crowds at a baseball game do in fact sound like storm-waves on a distant shore, which would not display any uncertainty whatsoever.

The final element of aesthetic that Thayer uses is tone color. One way he does this in his poem is by saying, “but Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all.” His use of tone color in this situation is effective because earlier in the poem he says, “and the former was a hoodoo,” in reference to him. The way Thayer says Flynn gets a single “to the wonderment of all” is consistent with him being called a “hoodoo” in the beginning of the poem. Therefore tone color is used effectively to portray an immense surprise when Flynn gets on base. The rarity of Flynn getting on base illustrates once again how spontaneous and uncertain life can be. Derek Soles put it best in 2002 when he said, “tone color tells of the power of faith, of courage overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and of the strength of the human spirit.” It is possible, however, that Thayer had no intentions at all to use tone color in this situation, and he may have simply inserted Flynn in this poem so that the mighty Casey could get to bat.

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As it was shown, Ernest Lawrence Thayer uses enjambment, metaphor, simile, and tone color effectively to illustrate the uncertainty of life. He effectively used these elements of aesthetics in Casey at the Bat to show that spontaneity involved in everyone’s daily life, even the “mighty Casey.” Writers and poets alike will continue to express feelings about the complexity of life and other issues associated with the common man for years to come. Everyone will be able to enjoy these works of art to relate their own common problems.


Deutsch, Babette (1974). Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

Goodson, Jonathon (2002).

Hawthorn, Jeremy (1994). A Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory. New York: E. Arnold.

Malless, Stan (1988). The Elements of English. Lanham, Maryland: Madison Books.

Soles, Derek (2002). The Prentice Hall Pocket Guide to Understanding Literature. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.[/i:ee2f4a2d56]

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