WEB DuBois The Souls Of Black Folk

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W.E.B. DuBois: The Souls Of Black Folk Essay, Research Paper When William Edward Burghardt Du Bois wrote The Souls of Black Folk, he had no idea that it would become one of the greatest pieces of southern literature written in his time. This book made a definitive impact on how black culture was viewed. The Souls of Black Folk even revolutionized white society?s perceptions and attitudes toward blacks. Through the usage of vivid descriptions in the areas of dialect, food, symbols, location/landmarks, architecture, and characters, W.E.B. Du Bois portrays the south in its truest form. One of the most substantial elements of southern culture in literature is dialect. Du Bois depicts southern dialect in this novel, using shortened, incorrect forms of words. Many of the characters

in The Souls of Black Folk speak, using ?Them white folks,? ?Fitey-three cent,? ?Gits,? ?Sittin?,? ?So does yo?,? ?Heah,? ?Plum full o?,? and other sayings. One man even stretch his ?southern drawl? to say ?He ?peared kind o? down in tha mouf.? Food and drink also play an important role in a southern novel. Du Bois uses food and drink, such as fried pork, corn meal, and whiskey to reveal his deeply rooted southern culture. In one instance he writes, ?Hello!? cried my driver,- he had a most impudent way of addressing people, though they seem used to it,- ?what have you got there?? ?Meat and meal,? answered the man, stopping. The meat lay uncovered in the bottom of the wagon,- a great thin side of fat pork covered with salt; the meal was in a white bushel bag.? And in another

instance, ?In the tiny black kitchen I was often invited to take out and help myself to fried chicken and wheat biscuit, meat and corn pone, string beans and berries. The symbols in The Souls of Black Folk also reveal its southern flavor. For example, white-washed fences, hot, dusty country roads, wrap-around porches, tall oak, weeping willow, and magnolia trees, grass-grown paths, duck hunting, plantations, railroads, and numerous churches were mentioned. In fact, the southern churches had a profound impact on these people?s lives. The Episcopal, Methodist, and Baptist churches were these people?s lives. ?The Negro church of today, explains Du Bois, ?is the social center of Negro life in the United States, and the most characteristic expression of African character. Take a

typical church in a small Virginian town: it is the ?First Baptist?-a roomy brick edifice, seating five hundred or more persons, tastefully finished in Georgia pine, with carpet, a small organ, and stained-glass windows. Underneath is a large assembly room with benches. This building is the central club-house of a community of a thousand or more Negroes. Various organizations meet here,- the church proper, the Sunday-school, two or three insurance societies, and mass meetings of various kinds. Entertainments, suppers, and lectures are held beside the five or six regular weekly religious services. Considerable sums of money are collected and expended here, employment is found for the idle, strangers are introduced, news is disseminated, and charity is distributed.? Another of the

seemingly endless aspects of southern culture is location/landmarks. This story takes place all throughout the south, from southeastern Georgia, to the hills of Tennessee, which face the Alleghany Mountains; where rows of corn, and fields of cotton and tobacco blanket the south, like urban snow. The architecture, more specifically, ?black? architecture, mentioned in The Souls of Black Folk is deeply southern. One church described was ?a great white-washed barn of a thing, perched on stilts of stone, the center of a hundred cabin homes.? Hammocks decorate over-grown backyards of cabins and farmhouses. The schools are mostly small, tiny plank houses, such as the one that ?has within it, a double row of unplaned benches resting mostly on legs, sometimes on boxes.? There was also a