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""Like a Winding Sheet" By Ann Petry"
"Like a Winding Sheet" By Ann Petry
Amy Hetzel
Amber Way

English 102

October 7, 2003

"Like a Winding Sheet" by Ann Petry

In Ann Petry's "Like a Winding Sheet", we see a black man mind abducted by the disease called racism, which he try's to overcome by applying the values put upon him by his family. Having been living with racism so long, he struggles to continue to fight for his family beliefs.

"Like a Winding Sheet" is about a Blackman name Mr. Johnson who lives with his wife Mae. They both work the night shift, in a labor plant. Johnson is always late for work because the aches in his legs. One Friday on the thirteen day of the month, Johnson went to work and got chewed up by his boss for being late. Then Johnson got rejected at the all-night-restaurant by the coffee lady. Every time someone rejects or come off inappropriate, Johnson looks at the situation as a racial insult and gets extremely mad. The only way to control his anger is the values bestowed on him by his family's upbringings. Can his family's values hold value when his anger gets unbearable?

In "Like a Winding Sheet", Ann Petry uses structure to show the birth to the death of Johnson's struggles. She also shows symbols like the "lipstick" and "Wind Sheet" to argue why Johnson struggles to continue to fight for his family' belief, not to hit on women.

In the beginning Johnson had an argument with his wife Mae about why she should go to work despite it was Friday the Thirteen. Petry states, "He couldn't bring

himself to talk to her roughly or threaten to strike her like a lot of men might have done. He wasn't made that way" (285), which states his family's belief, the birth. This first argument symbolizes the beginning of Johnson "winding in a sheet".

Johnson's belief...

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