“Lynching of innocent men” by Ida B. Wells

The lede of Lynching of Innocent Men sets the tone of the article right away.  From the start Ida B. Wells is questioning the Lynch law and is clearly taking a stand against a crime committed by a mob.   The first sentence instantly creates questions in the reader’s mind; “What happened? What was the crime? Who did it? And Why?”.  The following sentences begin to answer the question of what happened, in a way bating the reader to read on.  The lede entices people to continue reading because it is a controversial topic, questions are raised and the beginning of the answer to what happens is provokes the reader to have more questions.

There is no paragraph break after the lede, Wells just jumps right into the story.   The white mob answer the question of who in the first paragraph and throughout the article she explains why in chronological order.  Wells uses short narrative quotes from other papers to explain the several acts of violence by the mob.  Having the detailed accounts told as a narrative adds to the emotion of the article. Wells uses several accounts to make her point clear that she is disgusted with what the mob has done.

Although there are many quotes and narratives that tell facts and details of the crimes the mob performed, there is not a lot of information given about the mob.  The mob is spoken about as a unit.  It is also clear that Wells has a bias against the mob when she speaks about the victims.

Wells voices her opinion of the Lynch Law from the very beginning when she describes “the absolute unreliability and recklessness of the mob”, but for the most part, the article is told in a relatively neutral descriptive tone.  Most of the accounts are facts building evidence of crimes the mob has committed.  The author’s bias sneaks into the writing, most likely because she is passionate about the topic.

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