Analysis

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Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 578

In The Truths We Hold, Kamala Harris demonstrates her political positions by using personal stories from her life as framing devices; she shows how she herself has been affected by and lived by her principles to better humanize her political platform.

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One example of Harris's history acting as a framing device is when she talks about her mother encouraging her and her siblings: "hands were never idle, especially in front of the television." She explains that she learned how to make a perfect crochet shell stitch there; she says that her mother used her hands to clean, cook, and comfort because she valued hard work. Harris goes on to say that her mother passed that attitude down to her daughters.

She goes on to explain that Martin Luther King, Jr. was helping black sanitation workers fight for their rights to fair pay and safe working conditions in Memphis in 1968. She says that they got little more than minimum wage:

They didn't get overtime pay. They had no sick leave. If they were injured at work and needed time to mend—as often happened—they were likely to be fired.

This story is a secondary frame on her idea that hard work deserves a reward. It's adding support to her assertion hard work isn't always valued—but should be.

This might seem at first like a story to illustrate Harris's upbringing or to explain the motivations between the author's own lifetime of hard work; it might seem like a callback to American history that supports her own history. However, she goes on to explain that there is "dignity in the work that society requires to function" and that her mother believed every person deserved respect for their work and should be rewarded and honored for effort. This is the basis of some of Harris's political positions. For example, it illustrates her drive to create a $15 per hour minimum wage in America, which is legislation she's pursuing. It also acts as a frame for her support of the Equal Rights Amendment which is partially concerned with making sure equal pay laws are upheld.

It's clear that this is the case when the next section says:

It is the story of Americans trapped in a cost-of-living...

(The entire section contains 578 words.)

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