Sabrina Santana

1. What is the most intriguing part you just read? 2. What do you think will happen next? 3. What is a word you learned?

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Amari S.

“Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”-Anonymous

Many people are confused about the elements in their history, the chains that were attached to our ancestors. Every object is a link in an endless chain and is thus connected with all the other links, (that has changed). My book Copper Sun was written by a woman who was the granddaughter of a slave, award winning, and determined to not make statistics become her reality, Sharon M. Draper. Amari (the main character) once had a perfect life engaged to the man of her dreams. However, when Besa notices strange men approaching the tribe, things go from celebration to devastation in a quick snap of a finger. Sharon M. Draper uses symbolism, descriptive language, and comparisons to teach us the controversial history of African Americans in Copper Sun.

Sharon M Draper uses symbolism such as drums in Copper Sun, to show the significance in villages. They provide stories and a space to share thoughts and feelings. “Playing the drum is my therapy” - Travis Barker. Sharon M Draper tells the audience in different ways how drums were used as therapy sessions to heal mentally challenged individuals.“And so they did,” Komla said, ending the tale with a tapping on his drum. “They walked backward on the dirt path so their footprints looked like the prints of someone arriving into the village, not departing!’’ Symbolism helps evoke powerful imagery in knowing details of the controversial lifestyle Amari and Polly (indenture servant) had to endure over the course of their sale everyday difficulties, to the nighttime.

Sharon M Draper uses descriptive language to deeply tell what's happening and create imagery for the audience. Sharon M Draper created imagery so that we can picture ourselves in the characters shoes throughout the book, she also uses descriptive language to cover all details that need to be understood to process the book and acknowledge one's historical struggles.“The men splattered with the blood of men who had been beaten, as well as the vomit and urine and feces that the men chained above them had no choice but to eliminate where they lay.” Sharon M Draper uses academic and descriptive language to show everything; Amari,Besa,Polly,Teenie, Master Clay,Master Derby mindsets and thoughts throughout the novel Copper Sun.

Sharon M Draper uses comparisons to draw reality preferences that the audience will likely know what they are trying to uncover. Sharon is trying to convey to the audience to help them understand how they were treated like animals and were to be used in atrocious ways, Sharon perceives that the audience knows what animals give to people so these women were basically used as toys, presents, and unworthy animals. “Then strange white men, one of them so tall and thin that he seemed to sway when he walked, looked over each of the women as if inspecting goats for slaughter.”“If all men were born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?” -Mary Astell. In this book it will show the differences on how women and men were treated and how comparisons played a huge way of describing it.

The chains of your ancestors are now unlocked so are you going to change your future based on the facts you discover? Sharon M Draper uses many literary devices to explain the controversial history through symbolism, descriptive language, and comparisons throughout Copper Sun. Amari has to hold her own without her family because of murders by strange men. However, she has survived and will be taken through obstacles. Will she make it ? One can get involved by knowing one’s history and discovering facts that others may not know about or may be too lazy to put thought and effort into digging up the dirt that was once covered.
‘“Life goes on…
Whether you choose to move on and take a chance in the unknown. Or stay behind, locked in the past, thinking of what could’ve been.” -Anonymous
Adia Stampley Adia S.

Throughout life, you will have to go through change. Change is inevitable and there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. In Copper Sun, Sharon M. Draper, the author of various children’s books and a six-time award recipient of the Coretta Scott-King Award for Authors, uses symbolism, descriptive language, and comparisons to show how the main character, Amari, copes with the change that is taking place in her life. This book tells the story of the overlooked history of African-Americans.

The symbolism shows the significance in many of the traditional pieces from the main character’s home back in Africa. It shows the importance of drum and how it was their source of communication and life. A quote from the book says, “You know, Amari, the drums are not just a noise--they are language; they are the pattern and the rhythms of our lives.” Throughout the book, Draper uses symbolism to show the reader how much the characters miss their home and families and how they long to have the happiness and comfort of their homes once again. This is a deliberate choice because it show the difference between how the characters once lived and how they’ve adapted to their new lifestyles. It also shows the drastic change in the character’s ability to persevere and continue living their lives despite of the obvious challenges and difficulties. In the book it states, “He had no need to look at his hands to produce the drum sounds that lived within him.” This statement shows that the drums were apart of their everyday lives and they lived through the drums.

Descriptive language is used the create a greater level of interest. The captors are seen as the “end of the road” for Amari because they have taken everything from her, but throughout her struggles she still manages to keep her head up with pride. The relationships that Amari has built with the people she’s met on her journey, so far, will help her throughout the rest of the book as her journey through slavery continues. A quote from the book states: “The bright sunlight was suddenly gone, and she had to adjust her eyes to the gloom inside the structure. It smelled of blood and death. She could hear terrifying wails that seemed to coming from the walls of the place. Amari was filled with dread.” This descriptive language provides the reader with many important details to help them visualize and sense the feeling of loneliness and hopelessness that Amari is feeling at that moment. Descriptive language not only helps you feel for the reader, but it helps you to become more engaged in the book.

Throughout the book, Sharon M. Draper uses a lot of comparisons. She often compares the life to an endless sea of death and unhappiness. Because the condition and the treatment of the slaves is abysmal, the slaves usually lose all hope for any chance of things getting better and they frequently give up on life all together. Amari is haunted by the fact that everything she once knew has been stripped away from her, but she later on finds comfort in a character named Afi, which becomes a mother-like figure to her along her journey to America. The slaves were often compared to non-human creatures and animals. “Now you dance! Dance! Dance, you little monkeys, dance!” When the slaves were spoken to, they were always told that they were inferior, different, and worthless. Discouraging words like those, made the slaves feel unwanted, useless, and nothing more than someone’s property.

In conclusion, change is bound to happen and there is nothing we can do to prevent it, but despite of all the difficulties and challenges, Amari overcame all of her obstacles. The figurative language used throughout Copper Sun helps the reader better understand the importance of being able to persevere through hardships. It is important to educate all people about the history of African-Americans. This story has gone unnoticed for far too long. Do you know your African-American history?
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by Sharon M. Draper (Goodreads Author)
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