Analysis of Juxtapositions

Major juxtapositions used in the article are listed in the following three column table. Things juxtaposed are in the first and third column. A brief description is placed in the middle column.

My Life 1

At age 5, Carmin's family was far from the American dream of owning a home.

Dream 1

In Story 1, her mother insisted on good behavior.

Her mother had her own reason, but was not consistent in teaching a five-year old girl.

Her mother told her to disobey her teacher and not to say the pledge.

My Life 2

Black Americans in military during the period of civil rights movement.

Dream 2
My Life 3

How could a five-year old child cause a scene?

Dream 3

With liberty and justice for all.

Does two flags imply different liberty and justice for Blacks and Whites?

Dream 5
My life 6 Top

Trailer parks vs. suburban towns. Again her family was far away from the American dream.

Dream 7

Each trailer had a room or two attached to the side for living room.

Her living room was far different from that of her dream.

Dream 7a
My life 9

A petting zoo vs. a beautiful beach. Again, as a Black, she was in a different world.

Dream 9

For a long car ride (Story 9), her mother fried up a lot of chicken.

Her family was typical.

Her father packed a lot of beer.

My life 12

Dining with many friends and in different places.

Dream 12
My life 13 Top

Her family was moving abroad.

Dream 13

Her family moved to France in 1961.

Her family moved away from the civil unrest in the United States.

Dream 13a
My life 14

A typical Sunday: church in the morning and car ride in the afternoon.

Dream 14

Communicating with gestures.

Is there a relation between communicating with gestures and August 28,1963 Civil Rights March?

Dream 15a
My life 16

Thinking about the history when having good time.

Dream 16

When she asked for a French bike, her mother said no.

Again, her mother was not consistent in dealing with children.

She got her new French bite.

My life 19 Top

Was she having a good time?

Dream 19b

She felt the awesome energy of the Metz cathedral.

It was heaven and hell.

Dream 19a
My life 20

Were the black and the white kids in two different worlds?

Dream 20
My life 21

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Dream 21
My life 22

Sky Jesus vs. Astronaut.

Dream 22
My life 23 Top

Beach vs. Downtown Plaza.

Dream 23
My life 24

Bull Killing vs. Luxury.

Dream 24

Bull was taunted to fight back and then was killed in self-defense for amusement.

My life 24

Comparing lynching to bull killing.

Dream 24a
My life 25

Ali became a hero when she was in third grade.

Dream 25
My life 26 Top

She was back to the United States when Thurgood Marshall led the fight to end segregation.

Dream 26
My life 27

Her family's housing was improving, but it still far from her dream.

Dream 27

Played Barbie dolls and constructed elaborate Barbie hoods.

Barbie dolls and street riot (Burn, Baby Burn!).

Dream 29
My life 32

She vs. girl of popular type.

Dream 33
My life 34

Family financial and housing conditions were getting better but her dream was changing.

Dream 34


Persona change in teenagers.

Extroverted: fighting with parents, changing name and etc.

My life 35 Top

Between Black power vs. Hippie.

Dream 35
My life 37

Room decoration vs. dream.

Dream 37
Click END

Story ends, but the world goes on and on.

End of Story.


Evaluation of Juxtapositions

The author juxtaposes extensively to provide the historical background and social meaning of her story. The written words tell how she grew up in a soldier's family during 1960s to become a happy-hippie teenager advocating world peace. The juxtapositions, including the title image, clearly say liberty and justice are not for black people. Some important events of the civil right movement are placed side-by-side with her personal photos. The Internet does add a new dimension for literature work.

The article uses pop-up techniques to place images together with text. It is up to readers' imagination to relate the juxtaposed images and interpret their relationship with the text. The juxtapositions thus add ambiguity and mystic to the story. Readers with different backgrounds may comprehend the story quite differently. Some may enjoy solving puzzles of seemly unrelated juxtapositions; some may not. Also, pop-up may be annoying to some readers, particularly when it does not function smoothly.

Most of the juxtapositions are well-designed. The phrase "with liberty and justice for all", which is also the title, is part of the pledge. The story starts with her mother telling her not to say the pledge. Her mother believes that liberty and justice is not intended for black people. This major theme of the article is mostly implied in the juxtapositions rather than words. The most intriguing juxtaposition is the pairing of bull killing with lynching of black Americans. Watching bullfight, she thought, "This was not a game. The animal had been taunted until it fought back, then, killed 'in self-defense' for our amusement" (Story 24). The implication is apparent.

Combining a narrative with juxtapositions seems to be ideal for Web publishing. However, juxtaposing is an art and can be very misleading sometimes. Authors have to carefully design their juxtapositions so that their ideas and intentions are clearly and artfully conveyed.