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There are several themes that reoccur in Garnette Cadogan’s essays; these themes are mostly of a┬áreligious or racial nature. However, in examining “Walking While Black” and “Love Your Crooked Neighbor/ With Your Crooked Heart,” another theme can be identified. This theme rests in Cadogan’s search for a place to be called home. Cadogan depicts this sort of search and defining of a home very differently in the two essays, though succeeds in articulating the point utilizing different styles, which is a sure strength of his craft. “Walking While Black” makes especially interesting use of narrative style.

In “Walking While Black,” Cadogan follows his own journey from childhood into adulthood. This transition primarily occurs in three different locations, each, for at least awhile, he considered to be a sort of home. In this way, the structure of the essay itself echoes a sort of walk or journey. Scattered among the high points of Cadogan’s walks in this larger metaphorical journey– such as using the walks for mental relief, or enjoying them with a girlfriend –there are many more instances of violence that are described in much greater detail; in this sense, form truly follows function in Cadogan’s prose. Not only has Cadogan given himself the ability to concentrate on the details of the most powerful parts of his story, but he has allowed for greater emphasis on those parts to be perceived as significant by the way the essay is structured to echo the sort of journey he is describing. The reason a reader may feel so “in the moment” with Cadogan in this essay is not only due to his effective wording and setting of scene, but also to the structure which so cleverly accompanies it all.

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