These documents are a photograph and a song. The keyword for both documents is “contrast”: in fact, it illustrates the large gap, separating Black and White communities in theAmerican South after the Civil War and before the Civil Rights Movement. This gap generated by racism, took drastic forms in the practice of lynching.
I] First, the photograph is untitled: “A necktieparty” taken by Lawrence Beitler, upon which we can see in the background two hanged black men who were Abram Smith and Thomas Shipp, and also in the foreground white people who are looking the two.Abel Meeropol wrote a poem untitled: “Strange Fruit”, it is about the photograph. And the poem was sung by a black woman: Billie Holiday, it condemns lynching.
II] Then, there is a contrast betweennature and death in this song. The title is a metaphor: “Strange Fruit” represents the two hanged men. But there are many others metaphors:
For example, in the verse 1 and 2, two lexical field areintertwined: nature and death with the words: “trees”, “blood”, “magnolias”, “burning flesh”, “breeze” and means that bodies are in the trees, season after season. There is also the lexical field ofelements: “rain”, “wind”, “sun”. Normally the elements bring life, but here they bring the destruction of the fruits. The construction: [ For + noun + to + verb ] shows that the nature is determined todestroy the fruit.
The “crows” are the only living creatures in the poem, they are a symbol of death because the eat corpse, so they conveys a contrast between nature and death and a contrast between:life and death.
Next, in the photograph, the is also a contrast between life and death. The top contrast with the bottom, because we can notice the death with the two hanged men, and the life with thecrowd, white people look very happy. Among them we can observe a pregnant woman.III] Finally, in both documents there is a contrast between the romantic south and the real south. In this poem,...
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