Rhetorical Analysis of Bell Hook's "Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education"

Essay by knightriderCollege, Undergraduate February 2003

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In "Keeping Close to Home: Class and education", a chapter excerpted from Talking back (1989) by Bell Hook's, suggests that moving on with life by attending college influences individuals to hide or change the values they were raised with. She argues that people should never forget there family background or their past just because they change environments. From her perceptions of some of the students at Stanford, she also states that even the "lower class" people have beliefs and values too and that it has nothing to do with what social class a person is classified as. Hooks aims her beliefs towards the lower working class people. Because hooks feels strongly about her belief, she argues that a university should help students maintain the connection with their values, so that people of different communities will feel neither inferior nor superior to others but equal.

Hooks demonstrates her knowledge of values by relating her experience at Stanford where she met many privileged whites who had values that contradicted her own.

For example, many of the white students appeared to lack respect for their parents. However, hook's parents always taught her to show them respect. Hooks even says in her essay, "I was profoundly shocked and disturbed when peers would talk about their parents without respect, or would even say that they hated their parents" (Hooks, page 51). Also, everyone looked down upon the working-class when that was the class from which she came. Hooks states, "I talked to no one about the sources of my shame, how it hurt me to witness the contempt shown the brown-skinned, Filipina maids who cleaned our rooms" (Hooks, page 50). Hooks felt hurt because her dad was a janitor. That was why it was so hard for her to look...