Truth in Literature: Analysis of Between The World and Me and The Merchant of Venice

About this sample

About this sample


3 pages /

1172 words

Downloads: 31

3 pages /

1172 words

Downloads: 31

downloadDownload printPrint

Table of contents

  1. Literary analysis
  2. Conclusion
  3. Works Cited

Literary analysis

Exciting tales, nail-biting storylines, literature consumes the minds of readers because of its intriguing ideas. With a range of ideas, topics, and views, audiences are compelled to trust writers. Literature remains a known source of entertainment and education even though it cannot always exist with creditability. Can complete honesty stand expected of writers if not required of them?

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Whether the piece stands as an autobiography about race issues like Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, or a play with multiple themes such as Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, authors do not give fully accurate information. Authors should not be trusted by their audiences because features of literary work consist of provoking reactions, biased points of view, and authors having personal opinions that may contradict their message.

Primarily, authors use writing tools and techniques to provoke a reaction from those reading their work. The reaction may be caused by the emotional connection the readers make which owes to the author’s use of creating mood. On the other hand, it may occur due to statements made by the writer in order to offend readers. Whatever the reasoning may be, literature functions to get a response from the intended audience.

For example, in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, Coates writes, “But looking out upon the ruins of America, my heart was cold. I had disasters all on my own,” when talking about 9/11. He comes off insensitive by writing about such a sensitive topic in an equally apathetic way. It cannot be proven whether he genuinely felt heartless towards the situation or only said his statement to emphasize his points of the issue he decides to bring up.

Continuing in the passage, Coates goes on to talk about how African Americans in the past experienced horrendous treatment in the same places where the terrorist disasters occurred. He says, “I had not formed any of this into a coherent theory. But I did know that Bin Laden was not the first to bring terror to that section of the city. I never forgot that. Neither should you.” This message undeniably sparks a reaction in his intended audience who may have either been offended by his indifferent view toward the tragic event or became influenced by it. It cannot be determined by the audience if Coates sincerely feels cold towards the event or only said he does to get a reaction; thus, causing a questionable view of his honesty throughout the book.

Secondarily, authors possess a biased point of view in their writing pieces. Because of this, they write their piece with the information they want to see and focus only on what their bias favors. For example, in Ta Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me, he writes about how a woman pushed his son getting on the elevator and told him to hurry up. His perspective on the situation stood clouded by his consistently negative view of racism in America that remains showcased throughout his piece.

Hence, his predisposition of the situational racism made his point of view focused toward the encounter being a race issue rather than a woman who was blatantly rude without motive. Deprived of having multiple perspectives on the event he describes, his audience stays inclined to believe him; however, determining whether or not his allegations stand entirely true remains up in the air.

To add to his biased point of view, Ta-Nehisi Coates decides to purposely leave out important information. For example, as he does mention the setting of the incidence taking place in an elevator, he neglects to mention the busy and stressful environment taking place as they lived in New York. Many people view New Yorkers as rude with little regard of others; therefore, it does not stand safe to assume that the New York woman accused of being racist toward the narrator’s son is guilty of that allegation. Biased points of view cause preferentialism in events told, making authors unreliable sources of fact. Due to that statement, audiences should keep open minds and not always lean towards trusting authors.

Thirdly, personal opinions excluded from the literary work that correlate to the topic at hand can contradict the message the author is giving. Without further analysis into the writer’s views and context, the audience may overlook this factor and blindly believe the author’s claims. Take the case of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Character Shylock’s monologue targets Christians and addresses the issue of bigotry and anti-Semitism; however, evidence throughout the play and many personal factors contradict the sympathetic mood he creates in Shylock’s monologue.

One fact is how the Christian characters are projected positively throughout the play, yet Shylock, whom Shakespeare seemingly victimizes and shows sympathy for in Act 3 Scene 1 Page 3, plays the antagonist. Not only is Shylock the antagonist, he stays portrayed stereotypically as a greedy, merciless Jew. This is shown in his monologue when talking about how Antonio, “hindered me half a million,” and “thwarted my bargains”. This showcases Shylock’s greed and intense focus on money.

Another factor demonstrated by Shakespeare of personal opinions contradicting author’s works would be Shakespeare later justifying the forced conversion of Shylock to Christianity. This goes hand in hand with the Christian characters never being oppressed by Shakespeare’s work the way Shylock is.

Going back to the element of Shakespeare stereotyping Shylock, he continues this stereotype when the antagonist character asked for a pound of flesh. In the Elizabethan Era, Jews remained type casted as cannibals. This statement makes the “pound of flesh” a clichéd and anti-Semitic view on Shakespeare’s part. Being that William Shakespeare lived as a British man in a society known to hate the Jewish community, it stays uncertain to fully believe that the excerpt of Shylock’s monologue in The Merchant of Venice, is to send the message of equality of the Jewish people in Christian society.


All in all, audiences should not believe everything they read because literature produced by authors provokes reactions, consists of biased points of view, and can be contradicted by the context of when and how it was written. Without analyzing the authors angle of what they are trying to persuade the readers to understand, audiences can be influenced without comprehending whether the author is even being truly honest or not. If multiple perspectives do not become considered, a biased point of view can influence a reader if they believe everything they are told.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Lastly, without considering the context of the literary work, readers will not fully understand all aspects of what they are reading and will trust what they are told in the piece. Literature possesses the ability to have truthful elements; be that as it may, few reasons exist for readers to put their full trust into the literary work they read.

Works Cited

  1. Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. First edition. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015.
  2. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. The Merchant of Venice. Harlow, Essex, England: Longman, 1994. Print.
  3. Solomon, Andrea. 'Shakespeare and the Jews.' Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 51, no.1, Spring 1998, p. 306+. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 8 Feb. 2019.
Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Truth In Literature: Analysis Of Between The World And Me And The Merchant Of Venice. (2021, November 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Truth In Literature: Analysis Of Between The World And Me And The Merchant Of Venice.” GradesFixer, 10 Nov. 2021,
Truth In Literature: Analysis Of Between The World And Me And The Merchant Of Venice. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Truth In Literature: Analysis Of Between The World And Me And The Merchant Of Venice [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Nov 10 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now