A Nation Of Slaves Essays Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Border, Education, Children, Border Patrol, Literature, Patrol, School, The Reader
In his chapter titled “A nation of slaves” from the book “Walking on Water”, Derrick Jensen has offered a critique of the education system of the country. The beginning statement of the article is a hook that grabs the attention of the reader because many readers can associate with it. Everyone likes to learn as a child but fears school. Jensen explores the reason behind this in his work. The first reason he identifies is that we think that the primary purpose of school is to teach a child how to read and write, whereas much more is involved than this.
Jensen brings a little humor in the essay by recounting his experience as a child at school. He remembers the methods he used to kill time. One of such methods was to count the number of times his teacher said ‘umm’ or ‘okay’ in one class. By narrating these stories, the author tries to bring the reader closer to the content. However, then the reader is brought to the more serious aspect when the author recalls that they were expected not to question authority. He says that he learned “to give [him]self away”. This is because we are expected to bow in front of the experts of every field and to do, as they say. Jensen also critiques the society’s tendency to place more importance on money than on real happiness. To make his point, Jensen narrates an incident that he encountered in a library. The story ends with a child’s loss of trust in the education system. The author ends his work with biting criticism for those who are bent on making the country a nation of slaves.
Exile. El Paso, Texas.
Benjamin Alire Saenz in his essay titled “Exile. El Paso, Texas” describes the plight of a Mexican-American during the days when they were being exiled for being illegal immigrants. He was a Mexican-American living in one of the border cities of America, due to which he was often mistakenly assumed to be an illegal immigrant. He was often stopped while walking by the border patrol for questions in order to determine whether he is an American or not.
Saenz indignation and at being stopped every time for questioning is what dominates the essay. First of all, he expressed his feelings about the city in which he lived in by saying that he “belonged” here. Immediately after it, a border patrol guard stops him and asks him abrupt questions. After this incident, Saenz expressed his desire to rebel against these people in uniforms. He invokes sympathy when he narrates the treatment being given to other illegal immigrants who have been caught saying that they were “thrown like baseballs”. Another experience with the border patrol left him feeling hot with fury. Later, he mentions how the customs officer did not feel the need to ask Michael where he came from merely because he had blue eyes and white skin, thus bringing the element of racism in the essay.
Saenz is frustrated at the thought that different treatment is given to people who were born on one side of the line rather than the other - a line that was also drawn by someone else. The author mentions another encounter with the border patrol before he ends the essay by saying that he no longer knows where he is from.