Hard rock- Short story – Author Ethridge Knight
The short story, Hard rock is written by a fellow cell mate, in first person. This is a story about an inmate called Hard rock who was admired by other inmates as a Maverick and someone who would stick up for other inmates. This all changed though as Hard rock just returned back to the Prison after he was held in the Hospital for the criminal insane. This short story goes over how the man hard rock was changed from a hard, No nonsense man to a bare, slow and brainless boy.
The Ideas shown and portrayed in this poem are black rights. This idea is prominent in the quote “The fears of years, Like a biting whip”. This quote addresses how african american men and women have been oppressed from the white community and life for years. This poem also portrays the idea of slavery with the line “Bloody grooves, across our backs”. This quote once again re-states the idea of slavery and the horrible past of the african american race. This short story/poem can also give us as the readers an insight into what life may be like for african american men and women in jails and juvenile detentions
This text historically takes us back to the times of racial segregation. One statement made in the poem “The fear of years, Like a biting whip”. To me this is a massive quote when historically referencing this poem. In early 1900s American society was much different than today. Black male and females were forced and slaved into working for the white population for the better half of that century. This was a terrible stage of american and world history, and to me this poem gives us a reminder of how African american peoples were treated back in those years. “A hillbilly called him a black son of a bitch”. This quote comes from the fourth stanza and is when the narrator is describing what another inmate called the now “Braindead” Hard rock. This quote to me shows that many white men showed no respect to african american men in the racially segregated days. This can also be socially related to the present day as words like “Nigger” and “Black” are sometimes associated with african american people.
After reading and reviewing this piece of text I realised that people in the world we live in today can change the way they view others just by looking at the colour of their skin. As the readers we can also get a view of how hard life in prison may be for people. “He set the record time for being in the hole-67 days”. This quotation shows that prison life can be hard for even the toughest people. It also represents how prison life in america may be, and just how tough prison life can be.
Personally, I would not say that this text directly relates to my personal experiences. Although it does not directly relate to me it definitely gives me a better understanding of how racial segregation was a massive problem in old america.
After reading this text and relating it to global voices I would definitely relate the Hard rock poem to a another reader. When analysing the text I believe I was able to get a greater understanding of prison life and the struggles and hardship of being an african american. “Biting whip”, “Bloody grooves across our backs” these lines showed me a different perspective on the african american people and their feelings towards racial segregation. The first person aspect of the writing added much more depth to the story also as I was able to get a better understanding of the narrator’s feelings when reading the text.