Citizen: An American Lyric Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is symbolized by the imagery on the cover of Citizen: An American Lyric?

The cover of the book shows a young African American man wearing a hoodie. This directly relates to the Trayvon Martin incident, where a young African American boy was gunned down due to prejudicial stereotyping.

2. How would you describe the narrative style of Chapter 1? What is significant about the narrative style?

Chapter 1 introduces the main character of the book, who is never identified by name. The book is a second-person narrative with the author an observer. This style of narrative engages the reader directly, as though it is the reader who is encountering each experience described.

3. What theme predominates Chapter 1 of Citizen: An American Lyric?

The theme of chapter one is the pain of prejudice. The pain of not being remembered by a good friend, of not being valued, of not being “one of them”, and of being alienated when a little girl does not want to sit near her.

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